Thames Water has teamed up with the Renewable Energy Company, Europe’s largest supplier of ‘green’ power, to market electricity generated at 22 STWs throughout the Thames region.

The “Ecotricity” agreement involves 60MW of power, of which Thames Water will currently provide about 24MW – enough to power around 38,000 homes.

Much of it comes from Beckton STW, near Barking, east London, which produces 8MW by burning sewage sludge in a process introduced following the EU’s ban on the disposal of sewage sludge at sea.

The remaining power is produced at other works, including Oxford, Swindon and Slough, via the process of Combined Heat and Power (CHP), which uses methane given off when sewage sludge is heated during treatment. Thames Water has invested about £39 million in CHP technology.

Thames Water has formed a joint venture with the Renewable Energy Company which has also contracted with London Waste for the supply of “green” electricity.

Deregulation of the market means that, from April, it will be opened to business customers with power demands of less than 100kW.

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