Southern Water is now harnessing poo power to generate electricity at Bexhill and Hastings Wastewater Treatment Works.
The company has invested more than £1 million on a new Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant at the works to capture bio-gas created during the treatment process.
This gas, which would otherwise have been burnt off in a flare, is now being used to produce renewable energy – providing power and heat to the works, with any surplus exported to the National Grid.
The site is capable of generating 5.1 Gwh of electricity – enough to power 1,500 average sized homes.
As well as generating electricity, the CHP plant also recovers heat from the engine and exhaust systems via water from heat exchangers. This water is then used to warm the treatment tanks, helping speed up the bacterial digestion of the waste.
Generating electricity through poo power in this way will enable Southern Water to reduce its carbon emissions from the site by approximately 3,000 tonnes a year.
The project is part of the company’s multi million pound investment in carbon mitigation and energy efficiency schemes between 2010 and 2015.
These will help Southern Water reduce its carbon emissions and contribute to its target of generating 20 per cent of its energy usage from renewable sources by 2020.
The company currently has the capacity to generate 15 percent of its energy from renewable sources.
Southern Water already harnesses poo power at 13 of its wastewater treatment works through the use of CHP plants.
The installation at Bexhill and Hastings Wastewater Treatment Works was carried out by Southern Water supplier Cogenco.
Morné Cloete, Southern Water Project Manager, said: “I’m sure people in Bexhill and Hastings are delighted that they are helping us minimise the environmental impact of our business, dealing with their business – by generating electricity with poo power.
“CHP plants help us reduce our carbon footprint while also cutting our energy costs and are just one of the innovative ways Southern Water is helping protect the communities and environment in which we work.
“I’d also remind customers to help us in our battle against blockages caused by cooking oils and cleaning wipes. These items should be put in the bin, not poured down sinks or flushed down the loo. To find out more visit www.southernwater.co.uk/bagitbinit.”