Thirteen of Victoria’s water corporations have formed Zero Emissions Water Ltd (ZEW), which will be used to purchase clean energy from the Kiamal Solar Farm in north-west Victoria.

The venture is the first of its kind for Australia’s water sector.

Victorian Minister for Water, Lisa Neville, said the initiative will allow water corporations to purchase between 20 to 50 per cent of their total energy needs from the solar farm – slashing carbon dioxide emissions by 80,000 tonnes every year.

By combining to create a new organisation, the water corporations have been able to negotiate a very competitive price on their solar investment, which will allow them to maintain affordable bills for customers.

The Victorian State Government has set an ambitious goal of achieving a 42 per cent reduction in the water sector’s emissions by 2025 and net-zero emissions by 2050.

Melbourne’s four metropolitan water corporations are actively working to achieve net-zero 20 years ahead of schedule, by 2030.

“We’ve seen the effects of climate change on our water storage levels, which is why it’s more important than ever to create solutions that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Ms Neville said.

“It’s great to see our state’s water corporations working together on this innovative new model, which will not only help protect our environment into the future but also keep water bills affordable for Victorians.”

Chair of Zero Emissions Water, Paul O’Donohue, said “The Victorian water industry is working together to meet renewable energy targets whilst seeking to reduce costs for customers at a time when the cost of living can feel unpredictable for some.”

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
  • Southern Rural Water
  • Lower Murray Water
  • South East Water
  • South Gippsland Water
  • Wannon Water
  • Westernport Water
  • Western Water
  • Yarra Valley Water
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