The first phase of solar deployments, an investment worth around £25 million, will generate a total capacity of approximately 21MW. This represents Downing’s second successful tender award from a UK regulated utility company.
Yorkshire Water provides water and sewerage services to over five million people and 100,000 businesses in the Yorkshire region. The construction of the solar panel arrays will contribute directly to Yorkshire Water’s 2030 net zero pledge, as all electricity generated will be consumed on site by Yorkshire Water.
Downing partnered with net zero consultancy, Ikigai, who acted as a strategic adviser and behind the meter co-development partner to Downing throughout the tender process, that began in 2020.
Sean Moore, Investment Director at Downing, commented: “We’re delighted to be partnering with Yorkshire Water for this solar project. Assisting a national utility company with its goal of reaching net zero by 2030 is a superb example of Downing’s commitment to responsible investing. We are delighted to support energy-intensive industries such as water companies in making progressive strides to reduce their carbon footprint.”
Martin Clarke, Project Director and Water Sector lead at Ikigai, agreed: “This project demonstrates how water companies can achieve the mutual objectives of decarbonisation and better consumer value through externally financed onsite energy solutions. It has been a pleasure to work so closely and collaboratively with Yorkshire Water and, one of the UK’s leading ESG investment managers, Downing.”
Daniel Oxley, Yorkshire Water commercial programme manager, said: “This project is a significant step in reaching our aims of carbon net zero by 2030. Due to changes in the treatment process at our sites over recent years, many have been left with surplus operational land which can be used for the generation of renewable energy.
“These have been identified and will become home to new solar panel arrays. Once completed, the first deployment of solar panels will generate 4% of our annual power needs, increasing our renewable energy use, reducing our exposure to energy price volatility and reducing the operational costs of our sites, which will provide better value for money for our customers.”