Northumbrian Water to go 100% renewable following green electricity deal

Northumbrian Water is to power all 1,858 of its sites using renewable electricity for the next four years.

From April 1 2018, a new green electricity deal will cover everything from the company’s largest treatment works down to its smallest telemetry systems.

The agreement with Danish energy supplier Ørsted is one of the biggest contracts the water company has ever awarded.

It builds upon Northumbrian Water’s existing pillars of sustainability, including being the only water company in the UK to use 100% of its sewage sludge to create energy, through Advanced Anaerobic Digestion, at its treatment works in Howdon, on Tyneside. At Bran Sands, on Teesside, the company has also installed a 931-panel solar array on the roof, and in addition, operates England’s largest hydro plant at Kielder Water.

Ørsted supplies renewable electricity from nine offshore wind farms in the UK, with the energy backed by Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGOs). This means Northumbrian Water can achieve 125,000 tonnes of CO2 savings each year – over 600 times the weight of the Angel of the North.

Northumbrian Water’s commercial director, Graham Southall, said: “Energy is an essential part of our business and our contract with Ørsted has enabled us to significantly reduce our carbon footprint, as well as driving down costs.”

Philip Carvel, category manager added: “At Northumbrian Water, we want to work with forward thinking, responsible supply partners whose values match our own. Ørsted is a market leader in green energy solutions and has a remarkable vision for a more sustainable world.

“Combining this with a highly competitive commercial offer means that we can keep costs down as well as reduce our environmental impact – a great result for our customers.”

In 2016, Ørsted also announced that it would supply renewable electricity at no additional cost premium, so that UK businesses can achieve their sustainability ambitions without commercial disadvantage. Jeff Whittingham, managing director at Ørsted Sales (UK), said: “Ørsted is driving the transition to low-carbon energy systems in the UK, and we believe that businesses should have access to renewable electricity supply without incurring additional cost. Naturally, we are delighted that Northumbrian Water shares our ambition of creating this greener energy future. It’s exciting that such a large and trusted UK supplier places such a strong emphasis on sustainability.” orstedbusiness.co.uk