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Industry News, Latest News, Projects, Western Australia

WA rolls out solar panels across water infrastructure

Western Australia’s principal water supplier, Water Corporation, will install solar rooftop systems on its buildings across the state and build a renewable energy generator to reduce its energy footprint.

Water Corporation pumps water and wastewater across 2.6 million square kilometres, requiring significant energy consumption. In an effort to become more energy efficient, it will install solar panels at offices, pump stations, treatment plants and borefields.

WA Water Minister Dave Kelly said the state’s water supplies are being adversely affected by climate change, primarily due to reduced rainfall in the south-west.

“That is why it is so important for water utilities to lead by example and do what they can to reduce greenhouse gases that accelerate climate change,” he said.

Installation of these solar panels at nine sites will cost around $325,000. The panels will have the ability to generate up to 50 per cent of the total power required to run each site. In total, it is expected the solar panels across the nine sites will reduce the Water Corporation’s annual emissions by 450 tonnes.

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A renewable energy generator will also be constructed at the Beenyup Wastewater Treatment Plant in Craigie. The generator will use biogas, a by-product from the wastewater treatment process, to produce renewable energy to help meet the energy needs of the Advanced Water Treatment Plant, which forms part of the Groundwater Replenishment Scheme.

“Water Corporation’s adoption of solar and other green technologies will accelerate in the years ahead, particularly as technology improves and costs come down,” Kelly said.

“What’s important is that we don’t wait, but take every opportunity now to reduce energy use and greenhouse gases, in the context of rapid climate change. Adopting new technology and applying it in the field allows us to learn what works best and make critical efficiency improvements.”