Ambitious solar scheme planned for
East Dunbartonshire

26 March 2021

Scottish Water Horizons has unveiled plans to install its most ambitious new renewable power scheme to date at a water treatment works in East Dunbartonshire.  

With £3m investment, 8,620 ground-mounted solar Photovoltaic (PV) panels would be installed at Balmore Water Treatment Works in Torrance – one of Scottish Water’s most energy intensive assets.   

The green technology being proposed would offset 19 per cent of the electricity required to operate the facility, with the new solar scheme generating 4 GWh of energy a year – the equivalent of powering around 1,300 standard UK homes. It would also save around 1,100 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per annum. 

An aerial view of how Balmore Treatment Works would look with with solar panels

Donald MacBrayne, Business Development and Delivery Manager at Scottish Water Horizons, who is spearheading the scheme said: “Scottish Water has a significant land and property portfolio and it makes sense to harness these assets for carbon savings and green energy generation. Already we’re accelerating the pace and increasing the scale of our green schemes to help meet our ambitious net zero targets.

“The solar scheme at Balmore Water Treatment Works is a perfect example of how our assets can make a significant contribution to lowering our carbon footprint for the benefit of customers and the environment.”  

Dr Mark Williams, Sustainability and Climate Change Manager at Scottish Water, believes the scheme is an exciting opportunity.  He said: “Capturing and using solar power is instrumental in helping to tackle climate change and reducing the carbon footprint of our operations. 

“The renewable electricity that could be generated here in Torrance will go a long way towards helping Scottish Water reach both its net zero commitment, and a further goal to host or self-generate renewable power equivalent to three times our annual electricity consumption by 2030.” 

Electric vehicle charging facilities will also be installed at the facility to support the transition of the organisation’s 1,600-vehicle fleet of vans and tankers from fossil fuels to clean electricity.  

Electric vehicle charging facilities are also planned at the Balmore facility

Balmore joins a long list of Scottish Water Horizons PV schemes already installed at many Scottish Water assets across Scotland. To date, 9.4 MW (megawatts) of PV power has been installed at 49 sites, generating 7.4 GWh (gigawatt hours) of renewable energy every year – equivalent to powering 2,400 homes. 

Scottish Water has a significant land and property portfolio and it makes sense to harness these assets for carbon savings and green energy generation

Donald MacBrayne, Business Development and Capital Delivery Manager, SW Horizons

Construction on the PV scheme could begin towards the end of the year subject to ongoing discussions with East Dunbartonshire Council, and will be delivered by local renewable energy solutions specialists FES Support Services Ltd.  

Ecological surveys have been carried out to ensure any impact on the local environment is kept to a minimum during construction.  

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