Anglian Water is the UK’s 5th largest water utilities company providing 1.2bn litres of water every day. Operating an area stretching from the Humber to the Thames Estuary and as far east as Lowestoft, the region must make up for a lack of hills by pumping water from place to place
To guarantee their customers receive the service they demand, Anglian Water are investing £588 million over the next five years to meet the needs of the growing region. This strategy includes reinforcing the energy supply at their largest water treatment works. This project was designed to protect the supply of drinking water to some 400,000 households by providing emergency back-up power in the case of an extended network power outage
Working with Anglian Water @one Alliance to increase power resilience
Ensuring power continuity at Anglian Water’s largest water treatment site required a turnkey design and build solution that resulted in increased energy resilience.
The scheme needed to provide generated electrical power to start and maintain the Water Treatment Works at a total flow rate of 220 megalitres per day which would, in turn, provide and pump drinking water around the county and as far as London. The works would also need to be constructed in a manner that allowed Anglian Water’s own team of engineers to undertake maintenance.
Setting to work with Anglian Water @one Alliance
Following a period of planning with Anglian Water @one Alliance, SSE Enterprise Contracting were appointed as this project’s main contractor. This involved the design, construction, installation, and commissioning of project, as well as the project management and responsibility of every sub-contractor.
Our design team immediately got to work to understand exactly what Anglian Water’s requirement was and to also understand the key challenges they faced. After considering several methods of meeting the energy demand; such as the site remoteness and the lack of gas connection, traditional diesel generators were viewed as the most viable option.
SSE Enterprise Contracting delivered a true turnkey solution from design and construction to testing and commissioning. The full scope of services included; the complete electrical installation, cabling, LV diesel generators, HV transformers, switchgear and associated equipment for the Water Treatment Works and the dam pumping station.
What we did:
- Undertook full design, project management, construction and commission under the G59 requirements
- Completed civil design – from construction to installation
- Worked within COMAH specifications, ensuring the security of the site
- Assembled and commissioned four 2.5 MVA diesel generators with bunded fuel tanks
- Constructed the concrete water retaining bunds for which the generators would sit
- Installed energy efficient low loss HV transformers and switchgear
- Built a high and low voltage switch room
- Automated control system for seamless transfer of power to the generators
- Low voltage generation sets allowing for maintenance to be undertaken by Anglian Water
- Redirected underground electricity cables prior to construction
Putting the environment first
One of the many challenges the SSE Enterprise team had to overcome was the size of the site, any restrictions and, more importantly, its vast array of inhabitants. Working with Ecologists to undertake a comprehensive environmental survey, it was agreed that the project needed to be completed before the surrounding wildlife went into hibernation whilst ensuring nesting birds were not disturbed. The project also required working carefully around a badger set, whilst demolishing old infrastructure and clearing vegetation to prepare for the build.
Other measures to protect the local environment included:
- The fitting of bunds to contain diesel fuel and the use of only non-hazardous oil in the step-up transformers
- Installation of interceptors placed in the ground to collect and store oils and contaminants from rain water collected within the bunds
- The specialist removal of all asbestos during demolition
Immediate benefits, future gain
The project was successfully delivered to Anglian Water on time and on budget. Anglian Water have also effectively increased the power resilience of the Water Treatment plant, ensuring an uninterrupted supply of drinking water to hundreds of thousands of households at all times.
The installation of the four 2.5 MVA backup generators will seamlessly switch on when power from the grid is lost, providing the energy needed to supply 220 megalitres of water per day. The site has also been designed to operate in times of emergency, unassisted for up to one week. An additional consideration for the back-up generators to offer additional energy to the grid during times of peak use was also accounted for. This will provide Anglian Water with the facility to generate revenue from feeding energy into the National Grid.
If it’s not safe, we don’t do it!
The entire project was managed by SSE Enterprise Contracting with the plant commissioned and handed over to Anglian Water’s maintenance team as specified. Through the construction of the plant, the safety of our staff and all working on the project remained SSE Enterprise’s number one priority. With over 40,000-man hours worked on-site, only a bruised hand was sustained.
It was decided that to assist in ensuring the environment was not affected, we would proceed with demolition work and site clearance in February. To make the footprint smaller, we incorporated the diesel tanks beneath the generators. Anglian Water has been impressed by the innovative nature of our design and intend using this method in other areas requiring generation.