Poo power: £16 million upgrade for Aylesbury sewage works will turn waste into electricity

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Thames Water has unveiled a £16 million scheme to improve Aylesbury’s sewage works and generate ‘green’ electricity.

The plans will reduce the company’s operating costs and benefit wildlife living on the River Thame – because it will improve water quality.

The Aylesbury-based sewage treatment works is based at the edge of Rabans Lane industrial estate, roughly 20 metres from the River Thame.

The improvement works will be completed by September next year and allow the site to deal with a third more waste – or enough for an extra 28,000 new homes.

It will make the site 14% greener, by producing an additional 300,000 kilowatt hours of power (the average home uses 4,800 kwh per annum).

The process works by burning biomethane from sewage sludge – the solids left over from the sewage treatment process – to generate electricity.

The upgraded site will produce enough green energy to power 750 homes, or boil the kettle for 84 million cups of tea.

There will also be a new storm tank which will enable the site to handle high volumes of sewage during heavy rain.

Lawrence Gosden, Thames Water’s capital delivery director, said: “The improvements we are making at Aylesbury will benefit our business, the natural environment, and our customers.

“By producing more renewable energy, we reduce our reliance on non-renewable power in the mainstream energy markets.

“This protects us against price fluctuations which can lead to an increase in operating costs and an upward pressure on customers’ bills.

“By increasing the capacity of the works and improving its processes we will further improve the quality of water in the nearby River Thame, which is good news for the wildlife which it supports.”