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Business & Economy

Northumbrian Water Group and Ørsted energy deal is a UK first

Northumbrian Water has signed a long-term agreement with Danish renewable energy specialist Ørsted that will see the water company take almost a third of its renewable energy demand from an offshore wind farm.

The 10-year deal, the first Corporate Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) of its kind in the UK, is an expansion of a renewable electricity supply agreement between the companies, which started in April 2018.

From March 1, 2019, Northumbrian Water will source 30% of its renewable electricity directly from the Race Bank Offshore Wind Farm, off the coast of Norfolk. The move further drives the company’s sustainable and renewable energy strategy, building upon its existing solar, hydro, gas to grid and advanced anaerobic digestion (AAD) power generation.

The Corporate PPA will deliver approximately 100GWh per year of renewable electricity from the offshore wind farm to Northumbrian Water consumption sites in the North East, Essex and Suffolk, amounting to approx. 1TWh across the term.

As well as supporting the growth of Northumbrian Water’s renewable energy activity, the agreement will help drive down costs of operation through a long-term fixed price for electricity.

Graham Southall, Northumbrian Water’s group commercial director, said: “This PPA is not only a first of its kind in the UK; more importantly it aligns perfectly with our sustainability goals and our ambitions of creating a truly cohesive energy management strategy. The long-term stability this brings is fantastic for us, and great news for our customers and stakeholders, because it reduces operational costs without compromising our work.”

Alana Kühne, head of corporate PPAs at Ørsted, said: “Northumbrian Water shares our ambitions towards a greener future and are able to benefit from this journey through signing a Corporate PPA from Race Bank.  For Ørsted, this agreement is an important step towards building long-term green partnerships with corporate power customers.”

Race Bank Offshore Wind farm is one of the newest operational wind farms in the UK with commissioning being achieved earlier this year. It is capable of generating up to 573 megawatts (MW) of green electricity from its 91 Siemens Gamesa 6 MW wind turbines.

With the corporate PPA, Northumbrian Water will purchase approx. 100GWh a year for 10 years, corresponding to 23 MW of capacity from Race Bank.