Haven Power signs £520m deal to provide Thames Water with renewable electricity

Haven Power, the specialist electricity supplier to UK businesses and part of Drax Group, has signed a deal with Thames Water to supply its electricity requirements in an agreement worth more than £500 million (€681 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 £1.5 billion 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 biomass transformation, is now the UK's single largest supplier of renewable energy. The deal will enable Thames Water, which already sources about 20% of its electricity through self-generated renewables such as biogas, solar, wind and hydro, to meet all of its electricity needs from renewables.

Thames Water energy manager Angus Berry says: '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% 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% 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 is 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.

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 Thames Water'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 is undergoing a major transformation programme to convert its 4GW power station – which supplies around 8% 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% 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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