NI Water ‘Shines a Light’ on energy saving solar projects

NI Water has further boosted its investment in renewable energy by installing solar panels that could save around c.218 tonnes of carbon in the first year. The utility company aims to double its existing 8MW of solar generation by the end of the Price Control Period 2021- 2027. During the first phase of the project, NI Water has installed c.2,167 Solar Photovoltaics (PV) panels across three sites to generate clean electricity and lower its carbon footprint.

The solar panels have a combined capacity of 0.9 Megawatt (MW) of power which will capture the sun’s energy and convert it into electricity which will be consumed on-site reducing demand from the electricity grid. The panels also generate c.950,000kWh (kilowatt hours) which is comparable to producing enough electricity to power approximately 170 homes. The solar scheme is part of NI Water’s wider plans to help tackle climate change and create a more sustainable future for Northern Ireland.

The on-site roof and ground mounted solar installations were completed at energy intensive sites at Drumaroad Water Treatment Works (WTW) in County Down, Killyhevlin WTW in County Fermanagh and Limavady Wastewater Treatment Works (WwTW) in County Derry~Londonderry.

Patrick Grimes, Project Manager at NI Water commented: “It is exciting to see the expansion of renewable energy generation on our land. As the largest user of electricity in Northern Ireland we are keen to reduce our energy consumption where we can. Through this project, we could potentially reduce costs by c.£145k annually.

“As part of our goal to shift to 100% renewables, we are exploring further solar expansion via third party sites and strategic partnerships, in addition to investment in green hydrogen and recent large-scale battery deployment.”

Stephen McCleery, Senior Project Engineer at NI Water, said: “These three sites provided an excellent opportunity to increase our solar generation and reduce our demand from the electricity grid. We’ve been able to utilise available land at Limavady WwTW and utilise the roof of the recently constructed Clear Water tanks at Drumaroad WTW and Killyhelvin WTW which is helping to increase efficiency of the plants.”


Media enquiries to the NI Water Press Office via email to press.office@niwater.com

For further information please visit: www.niwater.com/climatechange 

Notes to editors

  • NI Water appointed main contractor Geda Construction to complete the three solar installations supported by Solar PV sub-contractor Solmatix. NI Water appointed Scott’s Electrical Services Ltd. to facilitate the solar installation.
  • c.218 tonnes of carbon has been calculated using a forecast 950,000kWhrs generated (year 1) / 4.36 kWhrs generated which provides 1kg of CO2 by not using grid electricity / 1000 = Tonnes of Carbon avoided Year 1.
  • 2,167 x 505 watt solar panels (c. 1.1 MWp) connected through 16 x solar inverters (0.9 MW).
  • Drumaroad Water Treatment Works has 540 Kilowatt Peak (kWp); Killyhelvin Water Treatment Works 360 kWp and Limavady Wastewater Treatment Works 192 kWp.#
  • A full video overview is available here: https://youtu.be/Zgk0BqOBhp8

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