Sizewell C to power desalination plant with clean electricity

By Nick Osbourne | Published on 31 October 2023 | 3 min read

Sizewell C aims to power its water desalination plant with zero carbon electricity from Sizewell B in a further move to make construction of the nuclear plant in Suffolk as green as possible.

The temporary desalination facility will ensure the Sizewell C project has the water it needs until a new water main provides a permanent supply in the early 2030s.

Desalination will become an important future technology in the UK as the effects of climate change put greater strain on water supplies in rivers and reservoirs.

To reduce the impact of the plant on the local environment, Sizewell C is in discussions with EDF Energy Nuclear Generation Limited to agree a supply of zero carbon electricity from neighbouring power station, Sizewell B.

This will reduce the need to run the desalination plant using electricity from the grid or from generators and will help reduce the amount of carbon emissions produced during construction.

The project is continuing its discussions with the region’s water companies about building a mains pipeline to provide the power station with a permanent water supply.

This new supply will provide more water than Sizewell C needs to operate so it will benefit other users in the community.

Julia Pyke, co-managing director of Sizewell C said:

“This is another demonstration of our commitment to reduce the impacts of construction and to provide lasting benefits to East Suffolk. Our desalination plant will run on clean energy and combined with our long-term plan for water, will help build a more resilient supply in the East of England. It will also allow us to gain experience and skills in a technology which will become more widely used as we deal with the consequences of climate change.”

Sizewell C is proposing a series of other measures to reduce carbon emissions during and after construction of the power station.

These include operating a fleet of hydrogen buses to take thousands of workers to and from the main development site near Leiston.

The project recently announced the purchase of four buses from Wrightbus in Ballymena as part of pilot project to test the vehicles.

Sizewell C is also developing a Direct Air Capture facility in Lowestoft which will extract carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

The new nuclear power station is already set to be one of the biggest Net Zero projects in the UK. Using a water supply powered by zero carbon electricity means Sizewell C can go even further in developing the clean technologies of tomorrow.

Posted by Nick Osbourne

Nick is Sizewell C's Media Relations Manager