Octopus Energy is collaborating with Severn Trent, the UK’s second largest water company, to develop renewable energy generation.
It is the first time the supplier has worked directly with a major utility, and will see the two companies explore potential opportunities to generate clean energy on unused land across Severn Trent sites and other third-party locations.
This will support the utility's carbon pledge, after it announced plans to invest £565 million over the next four years in environmental and infrastructure projects across the Midlands. This is designed to help it attain net zero status while creating 2,500 new jobs through its Green Recovery Programme.
Liv Garfield, Severn Trent chief executive, said the partnership with Octopus Energy “has the potential to revolutionise the way we generate renewable energy across our sites.
“Signing this agreement couldn’t come at a better time, as we continue to emerge from the pandemic and help the country to build back greener and cleaner.”
In addition to powering all its operations with 100% renewable energy the utility is transition its fleet of vehicles to be entirely electric by 2030.
Octopus Energy has worked with a number of companies to help them generate their own electricity in the past. It is also in the process of bringing its sister company October Renewables in-house, bringing a portfolio of over 300 solar, onshore wind and biomass projects worth more than £3.4 billion under Octopus Energy’s asset management team.
Zoisa North-Bond, CEO of Octopus Energy Generation, the arm of Octopus Energy Group which will manage the partnership, said it was “delighted” to be working with Severn Trent to create additional value for people in the region.
“As net zero commitments are becoming increasingly important in the fight against climate change, we’re hoping more large scale utilities like Severn Trent see the value in using their land to drive the green energy revolution. By being actively involved in their own energy supply chain, they are starting an exciting journey to becoming carbon neutral that will help make the Midlands cleaner and better for generations to come.”
The collaboration will build on Severn Trent’s previous steps into the renewable sector, announcing in 2015 £190 million of investment into renewables as part of a five year program.
Other water utilities have announced strong commitments to renewable energy, with Scottish Water unveiling a 4GWh solar energy scheme in March for example. While Anglian Water is targeting net zero by 2030, installing 11.65MW solar farm at Grafham Water in September 2020 and penning a power purchase agreement for more than 35MW of solar in 2019.