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Water headquarters switches to sunshine

image depicting Solar panels on the roof of Peninsula House
Solar panels on the roof of Peninsula House
The Exeter headquarters of South West Water is being powered by green energy.

Work to install hundreds of solar panels on the roof of Peninsula House, Rydon Lane, started in August and was completed this month.

The 860 panels, each measuring 1,650mm by 941mm, are capable of producing 210,000kWh of electricity each year - more than 10% of the building's annual electricity use - all of which will be used on site.

The scheme is part of South West Water's ongoing commitment to increase its renewable energy generation. The company has already installed solar panels at 32 operational sites across Devon and Cornwall, and generated over two million kilowatt hours of solar energy to date.

Project Manager James Pearce said: "We installed our first batch of solar panels at six sites in December 2011 and until now all our arrays have been at water and sewage treatment works so it's great that we have been able to install panels at our head office.

"Adding more solar panels is part of our drive to reduce the company's carbon footprint and help combat climate change. We also operate hydro-electric and biogas plants and a wind turbine, and the new solar panels will help to further develop our renewable energy capability."

The savings from the reduction in electricity purchased from the national grid and the income from the feed-in tariff at some sites will help keep energy costs - which are ultimately passed on to the company's customers - down.

South West Water has completed many energy-saving initiatives across the business, ranging from its pump efficiency programme to a series of low-energy lighting refits and a regional optimisation of UV disinfection plants, collectively saving the company around five million kWh last year.

Notes to editors

  • South West Water currently uses approximately 250 Gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity each year
  • South West Water currently generates approximately 19GWh of renewable electricity each year
  • We are working towards generating 30GWh per year by the end of 2015 and 50GWh by the end of 2020.

Published: 25 November 2013

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South West Water



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