UK water utility launches solar tender


British water company Southern Water launched the second phase of its plan to install solar arrays at its sites, including floating PV projects.

After kicking-off in December 2019 with a request for information (RFI) process, the utility is now launching the procurement exercise to seek offers from solar power providers. “Energy costs are one of SWS largest Opex costs, and the business is believed to have more than 6,000 acres of land which SWS would like to utilise in order to reduce Opex costs and meet carbon and renewable targets,” the company stated in the tender document.

Up to four successful bidders will be entitled to be part the panel of framework providers. “These providers will then participate on opportunities to enter into PPAs with SWS via mini-competition tenders during the term of the framework,” the utility specified. “These mini-competitions will be in the form of lots of SWS sites and potential third party land where applicable.”

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Southern Water operates 91 water treatment works and 13,870km of water mains, as well as 365 wastewater treatment works and 39,594km of sewers.

The company switched on its first, and so far only solar assets – with a total generation capacity of 4.2 MW – at large water treatment centers in October 2017. Those plants account for the 16.5% renewables share of Southern’s power mix cited above.

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