Nearly a third of the energy for Yarra Valley Water’s head office will soon be generated onsite from solar.  

Following the installation of solar panels at Yarra Valley Water’s Upper Yarra, Healesville and Whittlesea treatment plants, solar panels will also be installed at the Mitcham site.

Yarra Valley Water’s Managing Director, Pat McCafferty, said that Yarra Valley Water is committed to its 2025 target and that it is crucial for all organisations to implement real tactics to reduce their carbon footprint.

“The future security of water, Australia’s most precious resource, depends on our response to climate change now, which is why Yarra Valley Water is aiming to produce 100 per cent of its energy needs from renewable sources.

“All Australian organisations should be looking to adopt renewable energy and more sustainable practices. The environmental benefits are obvious, but when you also factor in the financial savings, it makes complete sense,” Mr McCafferty said.

A further display of Yarra Valley Water’s commitment to renewable energy is Yarra Valley Water’s waste to energy plant in Wollert, the first waste to energy plant operating in Victoria.

The plant has been operating for over a year and has processed in excess of 25,000 tonnes of commercial food waste to create 7,500,000kWh of clean, renewable energy which reduces greenhouse gas emissions and landfill.

Markets and food manufacturers deliver the equivalent of 33,000 tonnes of commercial food waste to the Wollert facility each year which is converted into the equivalent of approximately 25 per cent of Yarra Valley Water’s overall energy requirements.

The plant not only powers itself but also the adjacent Aurora sewage treatment plant with enough excess energy to export to the electricity grid. Yarra Valley Water is also exploring increasing renewable energy production at the plant by a further 20 per cent.

Mr McCafferty said that the waste to energy plant was an example of how a large corporation could work together with small businesses to adopt more sustainable ways of doing business.

“By being innovative and collaborative within the context of your business area, large corporations can partner with small businesses to develop mutually beneficial ways of tackling climate change.

“Since the waste to energy plant started operating in May last year, we’ve been inundated with requests from food growers, manufacturers and markets to the point where we sometimes have to turn people away.

“It’s been an outstanding success and a really valuable way of working together with the local businesses and customers we serve as a water utility,” Mr McCafferty said.

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