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Thames Water Transforms Sewage Sludge into Power, Lighting Up Over 2,000 Homes

Image: Beddington sewage treatment works - Credit: Thames Water

In a pioneering move, Thames Water has converted its Hogsmill and Beddington sewage treatment works into innovative "poo power plants," capable of supplying sustainable electricity to over 2,000 homes and businesses in southwest London for more than half a year.

By harnessing the potential of sewage sludge, Thames Water has pioneered a process to produce biomethane, a low-carbon fuel, from waste material. Using digesters, which effectively treat sewage sludge, the company can extract biomethane that powers electricity generators, effectively converting waste into energy.

The surplus electricity generated offsets energy usage within Thames Water's facilities and is exported to the grid, contributing to the power needs of local communities. The Hogsmill site in Surrey alone supplies electricity to 900 properties, and the Beddington counterpart in Sutton powers an equivalent of 1,200 homes, so the impact is substantial.

Thames Water's commitment to renewable energy extends beyond this project. The company plans to transition all major sewage works from fossil fuels to biogas.

"We are thrilled to introduce 'poo power' as a source of energy from two sites in southwest London as we look to play a role in the future of renewable energy," said Ian Ruffell, head of wastewater treatment for South London at Thames Water.

"The successful use of biomethane conversion at Hogsmill and Beddington shows the dedication of our teams to delivering this project and our commitment towards reducing our carbon footprint."

The company aims to boost solar power generation by 50% by 2025, reducing its carbon footprint.

With a track record of significant emission reductions and substantial self-generation of renewable energy, Thames Water is positioning itself as a leader in sustainability. Despite financial challenges faced by its parent company, Thames Water remains steadfast in its commitment to driving renewable energy initiatives and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in line with government targets.


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