Wannon Water signs innovative energy deal

23 April 2019

Wannon Water will join 12 other leading Victorian water corporations in a new energy partnership that will help to minimise greenhouse gas emissions and maintain affordable water bills for customers.

From October this year, the water corporations will purchase solar power together from Kiamal Solar Farm in north-west Victoria under a new umbrella organisation called Zero Emissions Water (ZEW).

Purchasing energy as one large organisation compared to separately, means the water corporations will procure energy at a cheaper rate which will translate to maintaining affordable prices for customers.

Wannon Water Managing Director Andrew Jeffers said the Victorian water industry is committed to advancing projects that benefit the environment and create more return on investment for customers.

”Wannon Water recognises the importance of playing our part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and keep the global temperature rise to no more than two degrees,” Mr Jeffers said.

“We have a strong track record as an environmentally-sustainable business and are committed to enhancing our environmental performance through climate change mitigation and adaption.”

The deal will allow Wannon Water to purchase four gigawatt hours of electricity each year, which is 20 per cent of its annual energy needs.

Victorian water corporations are leading the way for other water corporations and industries. This deal is the first of its kind in Australia and is a major step forward towards the sector achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

Mr Jeffers said Wannon Water has pledged to reduce carbon emissions by 40 per cent by the year 2025 and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. “The ZEW initiative is over and above the initiatives included in our 2025 pledge.”

The corporation has a comprehensive Carbon Neutrality Action Plan that details a number of projects including:

  • A wind turbine that will power the energy-intensive water and sewage treatment facilities in Portland (under construction).
  • Large solar panel systems on the roof of the Gateway Road corporate office in Warrnambool and on water storage tanks at the Hamilton and Warrnambool water treatment plants.
  • The carbon sequestration of 540,000 Blue Mallee trees planted as part of a revegetation project in north-west Victoria.

The 13 water corporations that are part of Zero Emissions Water are Wannon Water, Barwon Water, Central Highlands Water, City West Water, Coliban Water, East Gippsland Water, Gippsland and Southern Rural Water, Lower Murray Water, South East Water, South Gippsland Water, Westernport Water, Western Water and Yarra Valley Water.