Utility Week

UTILITY Week 2nd December 2016

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UTILITY WEEK | 2ND - 8TH DECEMBER 2016 | 5 Severn Trent renewables meets 35% of energy needs Severn Trent's renewable generation output is equivalent to 35 per cent of its energy needs, up from 33 per cent last year. In its financial report for the six months to September 2016, the water firm said it "remains committed" to generating the equivalent of 50 per cent of its energy needs by 2020. The company said it had spent around £70 million of the £190 million allocated for renewables, with regulated sludge anaerobic digestion assets accounting for roughly half of that. The remaining spend on non-regulated assets included solar last year and food waste anaerobic digestion this year. Renewable Energy turnover increased by £2.8 million, as a £2.2 million increase from higher generation was partially offset by a £0.9 million reduction from lower prices. United Utilities mulls energy storage United Utilities has said it will start looking at battery storage as a way of increasing its renewable energy use. "We think battery technology is now advanced enough to start looking at storage," chief executive Steve Mogford told Utility Week. He said UU's energy bill was about £65 million a year, and that the firm was maximising digestion from sludge because "that will be important" when the market for bio-resources opens to competition in AMP7. "We've also opened our first gas-to-grid link this year," he said. "And we think battery technology is now advanced enough to start looking at storage as well, as one of the ways of doing it." ELECTRICITY ELECTRICITY £252m Amount Pennon is spending on a new energy-from-waste plant in Avonmouth near Bristol. 28% Between January and September 2016 Ofgem recorded 5.5 million switches, up 28 per cent since the same time last year. 49% Western Power Distribution has cut the average time its custom- ers are without power by 49 per cent on the level in 2011/12, beat- ing its target of 23 per cent. "There is a real price for energy" Green Energy UK says the closure of GB Energy is as a result of loss- making tariffs "coming home to roost". Pennon and South Staffs join forces Pennon and South Stafford- shire Group have joined forces to merge their non-household retail operations in Pennon Water Services, which will make it the fourth-largest retailer in that segment. Pennon will have an 80 per cent share in the business and the operations will be merged in Bournemouth. South Staf- fordshire will own 20 per cent. The business will have revenue of around £170 million and approximately 8 per cent of the non-household retail market (180,000 accounts). The two companies' activi- ties will be merged in April 2017, subject to competition clearance. South Staffordshire Group, which includes South Staffs Water, Cambridge Water and Echo Managed Services, also owns the Rapid billing sys- tem, which will continue to be used by the enlarged Pennon Water Services. Existing in-area trading names will be retained, with Source for Business the out-of- area national brand name. In its financial report for the six months to September 2016, Pennon said it had "always recognised the need to achieve scale to compete within this market". Pennon chief executive Chris Loughlin told Utility Week: "There is strength in being together, for economies of scale and to reduce our operating cost to serve. We want to move together with a like-minded company, and South Staffordshire has been renowned for being one of the more entrepreneurial parts of the water sector. They seem a good strategic fit for us." Electricity North West project Electricity North West has completed the final stages of its £584,000 upgrade project at Wasdale Head in Cumbria, which entailed the instal- lation of 3km of power cables. Electricity North West operations director Martin Deehan said: "This was an incredibly difficult job due to the extremely remote location and sensitive area."

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