Sewage works running on 50 per cent poo power

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Mogen team with CHP award

Thames Water’s Mogden sewage works has hit a major milestone by generating more than half the electricity it uses from poo and reducing its carbon emissions.

 

The site near Twickenham Stadium was recently recognised at the 2017 Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Industry Awards for the upgrade of its three combined heat and power (CHP) generators. These produce electricity from biogas emitted when the solid matter filtered out of sewage, known as sludge, is heated and breaks down in a similar way to how food is digested in a human or animal’s stomach.

 

The biogas produced at Mogden is converted into electricity each day by the new 6MW (megawatt) CHPs, creating enough to power the equivalent of 15,000 homes and accounts for more than half of the total electricity consumption at the site.

 

Mogden CHP project manager, Ian Ruffell, said: “To have a sewage works as large as Mogden self-generating more than half of its own energy is a great achievement and it’s all from a source which will never run out - that being the waste our customers send our way each and every day.

 

“To be a more sustainable and greener business, our focus is on generating more of our own renewable energy, using less of it and spending less, all of which will reduce our carbon footprint and keep costs down, which can only be positive news for our customers."

Mogden CHP engines

The Mogden upgrade is just one of a number of ways Thames Water is working towards its target of producing 33 per cent of the electricity it uses from renewable sources by 2020.

 

The company also generates energy using wind power and solar power, and hosts one of the world’s largest floating solar panel farms on its Queen Elizabeth II Reservoir on the outskirts of London. It also uses CHPs to generate electricity from sludge at 23 other sewage works and produces 24 per cent of it electricity needs from them.