Victorian water industry commits to renewable future
The addition of 5544 solar panels at the Black Rock Water Reclamation Plant’s solar farm will triple the plant’s solar capacity from one to three megawatts, generating enough energy to meet 35% of the operation’s energy requirements. The project will also incorporate a battery storage system to slash the plant’s greenhouse gas emissions and keep customers’ bills low.
A separate project will install a 300 kW solar array at the Wurdee Boluc Water Treatment Plant, featuring a 200 kW battery to store solar energy.
Barwon Water Managing Director Tracey Slatter said the two projects will dramatically reduce energy consumption, helping the company achieve its goal of using 100% renewable electricity by 2025.
“Reducing our energy use drives down our operating costs, which helps us keep downward pressure on water bills,” Slatter said.
“Treating sewage and water is an energy-intensive process, resulting in Barwon Water being one of the main greenhouse gas emitters in our region. Our Black Rock Water Reclamation Plant in Connewarre, which treats the majority of our region’s sewage, uses about 33,000 kWh a day, about seven times more energy than an average household uses in a whole year.
“As a significant greenhouse gas emitter, we’re committed to developing more sustainable practices, and we’re doing that by investing in renewable energy to become more self-sufficient and limit our impact on the environment.”
Slatter emphasised the importance of investment in renewable energy to cut emissions, as businesses such as Barwon Water depend on a stable climate to deliver safe, reliable and affordable water.
Both solar projects are expected to be complete by mid-2019.
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