Waste MBT plant powered by solar in UK first

The UK's first solar powered major waste treatment plant has been announced in Cambridgeshire, which will meet over 70% of the facility's energy requirements.

AmeyCespa’s mechanical biological treatment (MBT) plant in Waterbeach will benefit from a 5MW utility scale solar park close to the village, comprising 20,000 panels.

The plant itself will generate up to 4,552MWh annually and the operator Lightsource Renewable Energy has secured a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with AmeyCespa for the offtake.

Solarcentury CEO Frans van den Heuvel who was involved in the project said rather than injecting into the grid, significant engineering work was undertaken to provide 3km of cabling from the plant direct to the local MBT facility for a more sustainable solution.

“Unlike most utility scale ground mounted solar plants in the country, this solar plant prioritises the use of electricity by AmeyCespa’s facilities first, with minimal excess energy being fed back into the national grid.

“We expect to see many more commercial projects of this nature in the future as organisations become increasingly aware of fixed, low cost solar power.”

Maxine Perella

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