Vital Energi light the path to net zero for Affinity Water

As part of their ambitious plans to be net zero by 2030, Affinity Water have appointed Vital Energi to install solar across 4 of their sites in London and the south of England, in a contract initially worth £3.9m.

Affinity Water supplies an average of 950 million litres of water each day to 3.8 million people across the south, and they are committed to reducing their carbon footprint and achieving net zero operational carbon emissions by 2030, partly through the installation of renewable technologies.

There are plans in place for the scheme to significantly grow too. A total of 37,000 panels are set to be installed which will generate 23.5MW of renewable energy a year to help power 28 of Affinity Water’s pumping stations across the south of England, which will result in energy savings of up to £2.8m a year.

We’re delighted to be helping Affinity Water on their decarbonisation journey through the installation of solar across their sites. Due to the nature of their business, Affinity Water are high energy users, however as their pumping stations sit on large areas of land, harnessing solar energy is the perfect solution to kickstart their move towards decarbonisation.

Rob Callaghan, Managing Director, Vital Energi's London division

The project will also guarantee savings of 2,584 tonnes of carbon in the first year, which is the equivalent of taking 2,900 cars off the road, 33 million miles driven by petrol cars, or planting 222,000 trees.

Once complete, the solar is expected to generate electricity in the region of 19 GWh per year (19,000,000 kWh) and will run for a minimum of 25 years, accumulating significant savings over the lifetime of the project at an estimated total project cost of £25m.

Solution detail

Energy is the second largest cost to our business and has increased significantly in recent months due to global supply factors, it is also a significant contributor to our carbon footprint. This cost pressure alongside the need to transition to a Net Zero business by 2030 means that saving energy is essential for our business both now and into the future. Our plans will look at our asset infrastructure, improve our energy data and insight, and build resilience while developing our people and culture.

Ben Hayward , Affinity Water's Programme Delivery Manager

The project will see the installation of both ground and roof mounted solar arrays, along with new and upgraded electrical infrastructure, and will deliver a net gain in biodiversity of 10% through species habitat enhancements. All the work is being undertaken in accordance with the requirements of the water industry, with engagement of local residents and considerate construction methods.

Construction is due to begin in June.