The Mosswood site supplies water to 700,000 customers in the Sunderland, South Tyneside and North Durham areas. Northumbrian Water had considered using hydroelectric power here several times in the past but hadn’t been able to secure a viable investment opportunity. Northumbrian Water therefore approached JN Bentley and asked the company to offer proposals for a hydroelectric installation that would provide a commercially-
All of the power generated by the new £1.3 million hydro plant will be used on site, providing enough energy to generate a third of the electricity required to power the treatment works. This will reduce the site’s demand on the network and when combined with subsidies from government renewable energy schemes, means that the site’s electricity will be cost neutral. JN Bentley’s scheme will provide Mosswood water treatment works on average 150kW of its electricity requirements through renewable means, using the natural flow of water into the works from Derwent Reservoir.
The hydropower generation unit is the first of its kind to be retrofitted to a Northumbrian Water water treatment works. Its installation marks the latest in a series of environmental initiatives for the water company. In recognition of its environmental credentials, Northumbrian Water recently won the award for ‘best initiative by a large business’ in the 2012 Climate Week Awards.
Austin Flather, Contract Manager at JN Bentley, says: “We are committed to maximising the potential of hydro power in the UK and our specialist teams are currently working with a number of British Hydropower Association members and water companies to identify how hydropower initiatives such as the one at Mosswood can make the most of existing assets in order to provide significant savings. These include looking at in-line systems on existing pipe work, run of river schemes on water company owned weirs, as well as more traditional reservoir-based schemes.”