Swinney praises utility’s wind power during Ullapool visit

Scottish Water’s use of wind turbines to power its own facilities was welcomed last week by Finance Secretary John Swinney during a visit to Ullapool.

Three small-scale wind turbines were installed at the works to reduce energy costs while helping to meet Scotland’s renewable targets. It forms part of a programme of similar projects by Scottish Water in the north-west, with turbines also fitted at Broadford and Portree on Skye as well as in Stornoway on Lewis.

Following the installation of the turbines, the Ullapool site now generates 50,000kwh of electricity a year, helping to power the facility.

As a significant user of energy, Scottish Water believes renewable initiatives can help it keep customer charges stable and affordable.

Duncan Gillanders, waste water team leader with Scottish Water, said: “Scottish Water needs a significant amount of energy to provide services to our customers across Scotland. We want to take advantage of natural wind resources to reduce costs, while helping to meet Scotland’s renewable energy targets.

“By generating more of our own energy it means we need to purchase less as a result, which is good news for our customers.”

Mr Swinney was given a brief tour of the works which was built in 2005 and provides primary treatment of waste water from the Ullapool area and imports sludge from private and public septic tanks from around the area.

Mr Swinney said: “Ullapool is just one example of Scottish Water’s drive to become Scotland’s most valued and trusted business by delivering real benefits to its customers through the use of innovative technology. By enabling the generation of power by installing wind turbines on its land, Scottish Water provides a powerful example of a business that is successfully playing its part in creating a more sustainable Scotland.”

Pictured (left to right) are Mr Gillanders, Mr Swinney and Arnie Rigby, waste water treatment site operative