“Northern Ireland Water is committed to the achievement of greater energy efficiency and carbon emission reduction in all of its business activities. Within the constraints of maintaining our commitments to customers and to the protection of the environment we will endeavour to minimise our energy usage and costs.”
(Northern Ireland Water Energy Policy Statement)
The annual energy bill for Northern Ireland Water during 2010/11 was £33.7 million, with electricity alone accounting for £33.4 million.
Since May 2006 and to assist with delivery of the policy above Northern Ireland Water has been delivering an Energy Implementation Strategy formulated around the following key objectives:
- Reducing the unit cost of Electricity
- Reducing the number of energy units used
- Increasing the use of renewable electricity
- Maximising revenue stream
Reducing the unit cost of electricity
Since electricity market opening in 1999 Northern Ireland Water has actively sought to purchase its electricity requirements at optimum costs through tendering and procurement procedures.
Reducing the number of energy units used
Northern Ireland Water participates fully in a joint venture with all the privatised companies in England and Wales, and the Scottish Water Authorities to develop engineering and energy efficiency standards. Whole-life costs, efficiency, and reliability are major factors taken into consideration when selecting various process plants. Several projects are currently underway to investigate process efficiencies, pump efficiencies and use of technology advances throughout Northern Ireland Water.
Northern Ireland Water is conscious at all times of the balance which must be struck between achieving economy in the husbandry of energy resources on the one hand and utilising sufficient energy to avoid any erosion of our commitments to deliver quality improvements in water and waste treatment on the other.
Northern Ireland Water continually monitors connected load profiles, and makes best use of energy, where possible, without sacrificing the organisation’s commitments to maintaining and improving quality services to customers, to contributing towards the health and well-being of the community and to protecting the environment. NI Water recently invested in on-line metering at the majority of its sites and currently reports accurately on circa 98% of all electricity used within the company.
Increasing the use of renewable electricity
In 2010/11 Northern Ireland Water produced almost 3 GWh’s of “Renewable Electricity” at several locations throughout its estate using water turbines at Fofanny WTW’s, Silent Valley WTW’s and Oaklands WTW’s. Feasibility work is ongoing with a view to expanding the existing renewable generation capacity and this has widened to include wind turbine generation within it estate.
An additional 40 GWh’s of renewable electricity was purchased on various contracts enabling Northern Ireland Water to surpass its target of 11% of total electricity demand to be derived from renewable sources in 2010/11.
During the period 2010/11 over 13.5% of Northern Ireland Water’s total electricity demand was derived from renewable sources.
Maximising revenue stream
NI Water currently generates revenue from the sale of Renewable Obligation Certificates and plans to expand this to revenue from an Aggregated Generation Unit Project within the single electricity market.