Welsh Water Infrastructure, a sister company of Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water, has taken ownership of an organic energy business. This is part of its plans to further develop its waste and renewable energy business.
The business which operates from the breakdown of food waste, a process known as anaerobic digestion, and the composting of garden waste was previously owned by Kelda Water Services. The anaerobic digestion site is located on Rover Way beside Welsh Water’s Cardiff Water Treatment Works and already supplies the wastewater site with renewable energy. This investment in the anaerobic digestion of food waste now means that around 50% of the energy used by Welsh Water’s Cardiff Wastewater Treatment Works is generated through sustainable, renewable generation.
The major advantage of anaerobic digestion is that biogas, which is produced naturally when the food waste is broken down, is captured and used to generate renewable electricity and heat rather than allowing it to escape to the atmosphere from landfill sites. This biogas contains methane, a greenhouse gas, which if allowed to escape to the environment, such as from landfilling food waste, could contribute to climate change.
Expanding Our Renewable Sources
This latest development comes as Welsh Water continues to expand its use of renewable energy systems across wind, hydro, solar and anaerobic digestion. Around 23% of the energy currently used by the company comes from renewable sources. With an average energy bill of around £41 million a year, Welsh Water plans to increase the amount of renewable energy it generates to 30% by 2020, helping the company reduce its costs and keep bills lower for customers.
Welsh Water Infrastructure Managing Director, Sonia McCorquodale, said: “Welsh Water is one of Wales’ largest energy users as the company uses a lot of energy to pump and treat water and wastewater. This latest investment will help the Glas Group to generate more renewable energy as we play our part in helping to manage the effects of climate change by becoming energy neutral by 2050.
“As a not-for-profit Group, we ensure that the gains we make go back directly into our services to benefit our customers, now and for generations to come.”
Cabinet Member for Clean Streets and Recycling, Cllr Michael Michael said: “All of our city’s food waste, which has historically been buried in landfill sites, is now treated at this plant where green energy is created from waste. As part of the sale, the terms and conditions of our contract remain unchanged and we look forward to working with Welsh Water, developing our established relationship as we both look to progress more, exciting renewable energy projects.”