Haven Power has signed a deal with Thames Water to supply their electricity requirements in a deal worth more than £500 million over five years. There is an option for two further five-year renewals which could increase the overall value of the contract to more than £1.5bn over 15 years.
Haven Power is the UK’s largest independent electricity supplier to businesses and sources its power from the Drax power plant in Selby, Yorkshire, which, as a result of its world leading biomass transformation, is now the UK’s single largest supplier of renewable energy. The deal will enable Thames Water, which already sources about 20 percent of its electricity through self-generated renewables such as solar, wind, hydro and biogas, to meet all of its electricity needs from renewables.
Peter Bennell, Haven Power CEO, said: “It’s an exciting time for Haven Power and Thames Water – this contract shows a real dedication to a sustainable future. Customers in all walks of life are increasingly demanding a sustainable approach and Thames Water’s use of renewable power is a fantastic example for other businesses to follow. From SMEs right up to large Commercial and Industrial businesses, our Renewable Power option is an excellent way for companies to improve their sustainability credentials – and it doesn’t cost the earth.”
Thames Water energy manager Angus Berry, pictured with Richard Robey, Haven Power sales and marketing director, said: “Our energy and carbon strategy centres around reducing costs for customers and minimising our impact on the environment. This deal with Haven puts downward pressure on bills and means we will now be using 100 percent renewable electricity. We look forward to growing our relationship with Haven to exploit further opportunities to minimise energy costs and emissions, as well as continuing to work towards our ambitious target of self-generating 30 percent of our own electricity by 2020.”
One of 10 companies bidding, Haven won the tender thanks to a strong focus on technology and innovation in the face of recent and on-going changes in the electricity industry. Price volatility mitigation, cost control and efficiency were essential requirements for Thames, to keep costs down for customers. The contract has been ‘future proofed’ to accommodate and anticipate changes in the electricity sector over the lifetime of the contract.
In addition to being responsible for electricity supply, Haven will also look after demand management, as well as all metering and data provisions. Moving water is power intensive, so there are benefits of optimising the timing of pumping when the costs are less. With Haven’s help, Thames Water can choose to pump water when it’s advantageous to do so.
Thames was also looking for an open and transparent partnership, where service, flexibility and innovation would enable both supplier and customer to share value within the contract.
Peter added: “Named contacts at Haven, who have the expertise and the dedication to manage this project, will work closely with Thames’ people throughout the contract. We’ve seen significant growth and penetration of the business electricity supply market over the past few years, while proudly still retaining our core values, which include personal and honest service. More and more businesses are choosing independent suppliers that are offering innovative supply alternatives, with competitive prices and superior customer service.”
Thames Water is at the forefront of technological developments when it comes to managing electricity use and needed a supplier with the expertise to progress this even further. All of the company’s sites – just under 4,000 – have AMR (Automatic Meter Reading) meters to keep track of exactly how much electricity is being used. Each AMR meter produces individual readings for every half-hour in the year, meaning that Haven will process an average of 68,000,000 half-hours of data every year for Thames Water, to use for billing and forecasting.
Drax Group Chief Executive, Dorothy Thompson, said: “I’m delighted that Drax and Haven will play such an important part in helping to deliver Thames ‘renewable objectives. As the UK looks to decarbonise in an affordable and pragmatic way, it is pioneering companies like Thames that are leading the way.”
Drax is undergoing a major transformation programme to convert its 4GW power station – which supplies around 8 percent of the UK’s power – from coal to sustainable biomass. Two out of six units have now been converted and plans are advanced to convert a third unit to high-biomass later this year. The estimated 12 million tonnes of carbon saved once three units are fully converted is equivalent to taking 10 percent of the UK’s total vehicle fleet off the roads and makes Drax the single largest decarbonisation project currently underway in Europe.
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