The company expects to generate 75gWh this year, therefore lowering its carbon footprint by nearly 15,000 tonnes as well as reducing the cost of powering its sites across the region.

The main sites to benefit from the funds are Esholt Waste Water Treatment Works in Bradford and Blackburn Meadows Treatment Works in Sheffield.

Yorkshire Water’s chief executive Richard Flint said: “This is a big step in the right direction for us, not only are we reducing our impact on the environment but also cutting down on power costs at the same time.

“Our investment in state of the art sites like Blackburn Meadows and Esholt will also stand us in good stead for decades to come, also reducing the amount of money we’ll need to invest in maintenance and improvements.”

Biofuel generation

In the past year, the amount of sludge being processed at the company’s primary locations has increased by 48% to approximately 97,000 tonnes. The amount of incinerated sludge has also lessened, reducing the release of CO2 emissions.

The rise in the amount of sludge treated is the main reason for the considerable increase in the generation of renewable energy. As part of this treatment process, methane gas is extracted from the sludge and used to create biofuel, which can be burnt to generate power.

As well as dramatic improvements at Yorkshire Water’s main locations, funds have been used to upgrade the settlement tanks and screens used to remove objects from the waste that arrives at the other sites.

Earlier this year (February 2014) edie reported on the publication of Yorkshire Water’s climate change strategy, which laid out plans to respond to climate change and ensure the security of the water and waste water services it provides. This investment will go some of the way towards helping the company achieve its goals.

Lois Vallely

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