A waste treatment plant in Waterbeach, UK, is now being powered mostly with solar energy. Lightsource Renewable Energy Limited and Solarcentury have jointly developed the photovoltaic (PV) 5MW project that will provide 70 percent of AmeyCespa’s Mechanical Biological Treatment plant in the small village in the region of Cambridgeshire.
The utility scale solar energy farm features 20,000 panels and will generate up to 4,552MWh annually. This is sufficient energy to power the equivalent of more than 1,200 homes, without emissions or any other kind of pollution.
“Rather than the plant being connected to export into the grid, there has been significant engineering work to provide 3km of cabling from the plant running directly to local waste management company AmeyCespa”, said Frans van den Heuvel, Solarcentury’s CEO. “Unlike most utility scale ground mounted solar plants in the country, this solar plant prioritizes 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 organizations become increasingly aware of fixed, low cost solar power.”
Lightsource will supply the solar energy to the waste management company through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for 25 years. The system offers advantages such as lower electricity costs and better price predictability.
Article by Antonio Pasolini, a Brazilian writer and video art curator based in London, UK. He holds a BA in journalism and an MA in film and television.