Chris Williamson, MP for Derby North, visited Spondon Sewage Treatment Works to see the company’s anaerobic digestion plants which turn waste into biogas that is then used to generate electricity or which is fed into the gas grid for local homes and businesses to use. He also had a chance to see progress on the new food waster anaerobic digestion plant which is currently under construction and to see the two wind turbines which are generating green power.
Mr Williamson said: “Severn Trent’s focus on generating green power is fantastic and it’s exciting to see such innovative technology being used here in Derby to generate renewable energy.
“Many people take the sewage treatment process for granted but it’s great to see Severn Trent generating green power and helping to create a sustainable future in this way.”
Sewage at the plant is turned into clean power through the anaerobic digestion process, where the waste is put into huge vats that digest it, like in a human stomach, to produce bio-methane which then goes through another process to be converted into gas suitable for use in homes and businesses.
In total, through all of the technologies on site, Spondon currently generates enough energy to power around 5,000 homes for a year.
Neil Liddell-Young, from Severn Trent’s renewable energy team, explained: “We’re experts in anaerobic digestion, with more than 60 years’ experience, but we also generate clean power through wind power, crop AD, food waste AD, and solar and hydro schemes.
“We’re constantly investing in renewable energy and our new food waste digestion equipment will increase the amount of green power we’re able to generate at our site in Spondon.
“Right now, we generate the equivalent of a third of our energy needs through renewables sources and we’re aiming to increase that to 50% by 2020.”
By generating renewable energy the Severn Trent is also able to reduce costs which helps to keep customer bills down – the company currently has the lowest combined average bill in the country.
To find out more about how Severn Trent generates renewable energy visit www.stwater.co.uk/about-us/climate-responsibility/renewable-energy.