Chevron RightCredit CardFacebookGoogle PlusInfoInstagramLinkedInLockPhonesearchTwitter

Victorian water sector on track for net-zero emissions

Yarra Valley Water has joined forces with other Victorian water corporations to target net-zero emissions, by purchasing up to 7,000 MWh of renewable energy from the Zero Emissions Water (ZEW) program.

ZEW is a joint effort between 13 water corporations to purchase energy from the Kiamal Solar Farm at Ouyen, Victoria’s largest solar farm.

Purchasing energy through the partnership means water corporations can buy at a cheaper rate than if they purchase energy individually, which creates savings that help maintain steady customer bills.

Acting Minister for Water, Richard Wynne said that the deal shows how the Victorian water industry is a leader in reducing emissions.

“This agreement is another great example of the actions the Victorian Water industry is taking to manage and reduce their carbon emissions - showing how Victoria is once again leading the way as we transition to a renewable energy future,” Mr Wynne said.

Clean energy from the ZEW project is contributing to Yarra Valley Water’s target to generate 100 per cent of its energy needs through renewable energy by 2025. This renewable energy project alone will provide up to 25 per cent of the organisation’s annual energy needs.

Yarra Valley Water Managing Director, Pat McCafferty said that the deal is a way to balance environmental outcomes with keeping pressure off customer bills.

“This deal is a smart and innovative way of doing business that has helped us to deliver on our purpose to protect the environment while maintaining affordable bills for customers,” Mr McCafferty said.

Yarra Valley Water is undertaking several initiatives as part of its emissions reduction pledge. These include operating a waste to energy facility which coverts food waste into renewable energy and installing solar panels that power its head office and several treatment plants.

The energy projects that have been delivered and now operate are generating 50 per cent of the organisation’s electricity requirement.  Yarra Valley Water also has a large-scale floating solar and second waste to energy facility in the delivery pipeline.

ZEW came to life through the Intelligent Water Networks (IWN) program, which is a partnership between 16 Victorian water corporations, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and VicWater. The IWN investigates new technologies and innovations to meet common challenges more efficiently.

The ZEW partnership demonstrates that Victorian water corporations are leading the way in reducing operational costs and emissions. The innovative structure of this deal is the first of its kind in Australia and is a major step towards the sector becoming a leader in climate change mitigation in Victoria.

Other supporting quotes:

Quotes attributable to the Chair of Zero Emissions Water, Paul O’Donohue:

“The limited liability company will purchase up to 78 gigawatt hours of renewable energy per annum (approximately enough energy to power 5000 houses) from Total Eren’s Kiamal Solar Farm and distribute it to participating water corporations. The 13 water corporations will each take a percentage share of the total renewable energy ZEW purchases based on their local needs. The purchase agreement is set for 11 years and will be supplying each corporation up to 50% of their renewable energy requirement.”

Quotes attributable to the Chairman of Kiamal Solar Farm and Regional Director of Total Eren, Michael Vawser:

“It has been a pleasure to work with Zero Emissions Water to secure a large offtake from the Kiamal Solar Farm and enable the 13 Victorian Water Boards involved to source a significant renewable energy supply. The Kiamal Solar Farm is a unique project, not only because it is the biggest Solar Farm in the State of Victoria, but also because it is backed by four Power Purchase Agreements including that with ZEW, plus one Large-scale Generation Certificates contract.”