New solar system to power SA Water

SA Water

Thursday, 21 February, 2019


New solar system to power SA Water

SA Water has contracted South Australian company Enerven to deploy solar power and energy storage across around 70 of its sites.

The investment in more than 500,000 solar panels is expected to deliver a return on investment in 6 years and help SA Water reach its goal of achieving zero net electricity costs from 2020. Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said the project is expected to support around 250 jobs during construction and will include Aboriginal business engagement, apprentice training and opportunity for the supply chain within the state.

“The scale and complexity of this landmark program will deliver opportunities for local businesses across a range of sectors, drawing on South Australian excellence in everything from civil works through to security services, engineering and project management, to high-tech system automation,” said Minister Speirs.

SA Water Chief Executive Roch Cheroux said neutralising operating costs like electricity, which reached $62 million in 2017–18, will help deliver low and stable prices for customers. “Our bigger picture is a zero cost energy future, where we regain control over one of our single largest operational expenses,” he said.

Enerven is expected to mobilise to the first group of sites, including large facilities like the Bolivar Wastewater Treatment Plant and Morgan Water Treatment Plant, in the first half of this year. General Manager Richard Amato said SA Water’s energy initiative is an exciting example of South Australia leading the transition to a renewable energy future. “We’re relishing the opportunity to be part of a world-class program like this,” Amato said.

A local subcontractor set to play a key role in the delivery of the new energy infrastructure is Tonsley-based SAGE Automation, which will deliver control and monitoring systems. Following an initial $10 million investment in December 2017, the construction of 6 MW of solar at SA Water’s Glenelg, Hope Valley and Christies Beach facilities is nearing completion and will connect to the National Electricity Market in coming months.

Image courtesy of SA Water.

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