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Yarra Valley Water Signs Innovative Energy Deal

Yarra Valley Water will join 12 other leading Victorian water corporations in launching a new energy partnership that will help to minimise greenhouse gas emissions and maintain affordable water bills for customers. 

From October this year, the water corporations will purchase solar power together from Kiamal Solar Farm in north-west Victoria under a new umbrella organisation called Zero Emissions Water (ZEW). 

Purchasing energy as one combined entity compared to separately, means the water corporations will procure energy at a cheaper rate which will help maintain steady customer bills.

Yarra Valley Water Managing Director, Pat McCafferty said that the Victorian water industry is committed to advancing projects that benefit the environment and create more return on investment for customers. 

“This deal is a smart and innovative way of doing business that will help to prevent our operating costs from increasing, so that we can maintain affordable prices for customers. 

“Water security and climate change are closely linked and we are strongly committed to changing the way we operate to help reduce emissions and benefit the environment”, Mr McCafferty said. 

The deal will allow Yarra Valley Water to purchase 7,000 mega watt hours of electricity per year which is 25 per cent of its total annual energy requirement. 

Victorian water corporations are leading the way for other water utilities and industries, as this deal is the first of its kind in Australia and is a major step forward towards the sector achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

Yarra Valley Water has a strong commitment to investing in projects that will drive down emissions and advance its commitment to clean energy. 

The organisation’s waste to energy plant at Wollert has been operating for almost two years and has processed in excess of 34,500 tonnes of commercial waste, generating almost 7,900,000 kWh of clean energy. The plant is now producing approximately 25 per cent of Yarra Valley Water’s overall energy requirements. 

The plant powers itself as well as the adjacent Aurora Sewage Treatment Plant with enough energy to transport back to the grid and power around 1500 houses a year. Planning for a second waste to energy plant is currently underway. 

Another key environmental project has been Yarra Valley Water’s investment in solar panels at its Mitcham head office and its Upper Yarra, Healesville and Whittlesea treatment plants.

Yarra Valley Water aims to be 100 per cent renewable by 2025. 

The 13 water corporations that are part of Zero Emissions Water include:

  • Barwon Water
  • Central Highlands Water
  • City West Water
  • Coliban Water
  • East Gippsland Water
  • Gippsland and Southern Rural Water 
  • Lower Murray Water
  • South East Water
  • South Gippsland Water
  • Wannon Water
  • Westernport Water
  • Western Water
  • Yarra Valley Water