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Scottish utility exploring benefits of small hydro network

EDINBURGH, Scotland 1/11/12 (PennWell) -- Scottish Water will soon embark on an ambitious US$31 million plan that will see the utility's existing water treatment plants partially converted to produce hydroelectric power.

According to a company release, Scottish Water will use the flow in its large water supply pipes to generate power for its treatment plants, resulting in a treatment cost reduction of 10%.

The plan is made possible by legislation introduced in 2010 by First Minister and Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond.

More than 30 potential sites have been identified for hydroelectric conversion in areas including Lanarkshire, the Borders, Stirlingshire, Angus and Fife.

Many of the proposed schemes make use of Scottish Water's existing buildings, though the company might need to construct additional buildings and electrical infrastructure in some areas, the release said.

"This is a key part of our climate change strategy and will substantially reduce our carbon footprint," said Ian McMillan, who is leading the program building for Scottish Water's Capital Investment and Delivery division.

In addition to this project, Scottish Water's commercial arm, Scottish Water Horizons, has recently installed a microturbine at the Touch water treatment works in Stirling.

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