Water corporation powers ahead with solar technology

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Victorian water corporation, Goulburn Valley Water (GVW), has reached the implementation stage of a project to install 1.9MW of solar systems and infrastructure on GVW land.

Over the coming months GVW will be rolling out 16 solar systems across sites in ten townships, including Shepparton, Kilmore, Cobram and Mansfield, to help the Victorian Government reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

GVW Managing Director, Peter Quinn, said GVW has committed to investing $5.39 million to the initiative and says going down this path makes sense.

“This is about maximising the efficiency of our business and embracing renewable energy to reduce our operating costs, keeping bills low for our customers,” Mr Quinn said.

“This project aims to deliver multiple benefits to GVW, our customers and the environment.

“With land available around much of our infrastructure, and favourable climatic conditions in our service area, consideration of solar technology stands out as an obvious step forward in this space, and one we’re more than ready to take.”

Project Manager, Glenn Bewicke, said GVW is committed to its carbon emission reduction targets and has selected the largest power consumer sites as priorities for the roll out.

“This is a technically feasible and cost effective way for GVW to meet some of our objectives,” Mr Bewicke said.

“The treatment of water and wastewater is an energy-intensive business, in particular at our sites with food processing industries, so the installation of solar arrays at these larger sites was a priority.”

Over a 12 month period, more than 4800 high-efficiency solar PV panels will be installed on available land surrounding some of GVW facilities, as well as some clearwater storage tanks and building roofs.

“This project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as costs associated with energy bills,” Mr Bewicke said.

“The technology is expected to contribute to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 4500 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent each year, with the average annual renewable energy output more than 3000MWh. This is equivalent to providing clean energy for 330 average residential homes.”

Mr Bewicke said the new solar systems will pay for themselves in around eleven years through reduced energy usage. The arrays have an estimated operating life of 20-30 years.

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