Solar power commitment - our pledge
A community-driven initiative of five large-scale solar installations will power almost half of the energy needs at four of our water and wastewater treatment plants.
The four sites chosen make up 68% of the utility’s total electricity load and include Ballarat North and South Wastewater Treatment Plants, Lal Lal and White Swan Water Treatment Plants and the White Swan pump station.
The solar initiative has been driven by the community, who asked for improved sustainability of their water supply systems as a key priority.
As part of our Let’s Talk Water campaign, the community told us they valued the use of renewable energy, but at no extra cost to them.
We are pleased to be able to deliver on that goal with this initiative, which is also a step forward in delivering our Emissions Reduction Pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2025.
The solar panels will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 3,745 tonnes per year and generate 3500 MWh (megawatt hours) of renewable energy, equivalent to the average annual energy use of 700 Victorian homes.
From time to time some of the renewable energy will be exported to the grid, however the solar is designed so that the majority of the energy is used to power the treatment plant.
It will also deliver added value for our customers by taking pressure off the region’s electricity grid and reducing peak daily electricity demand, to help combat power outages in peak periods such as summer.
For Central Highlands Water, it will reduce our overall energy costs by 20%, which is great for our bottom-line long term and our ability to re-invest back into the community.
We’re committed to finding innovative and cost-effective solutions that benefit our customers, and this project will also contribute to the Victorian Government Renewable Energy Target of 50% renewable energy by 2030.
It is a long-term investment in our community, alongside our other existing renewable initiatives like small-scale roof mounted solar at our Learmonth Road office, the Daylesford and Maryborough Water Treatment Plants and a mini-hydro electricity generator at Lal Lal Water Treatment Plant.