South Australia’s SA Water is hoping to cut down on its current electricity bill, which is currently sitting at a staggering AU$55M annual at 2016-2017, to an ideal of AU$0, with its recent announcement to install solar panels on the Gold Coast amounting to a total of 6MW, to be distributed across its larger metropolitan locations.
SA Water recently reinvented itself with a revamp of its operations aimed for solar and battery storage, which they revealed in July of 2017, which this new development is a part of. The AU$10M investment will lead to the installation of rooftop and ground-mounted solar panels on the Gold Coast across the company’s locations, with the first of these new panels scheduled for operation sometime in the first half of 2018.
Another development stemming from the 2017 July tender is the installation of a new, pilot 100kWh battery storage system worth AU$500,000 at the SA Water Crystal Brook workshop.
SA Water is responsible for the water and sewage services of over 1.6M Aussies across the South Australian region, and is, currently, one of the state’s largest electricity consumers. SA Water is one of the many water companies across the country looking to move into renewable energy sources in order to cut costs and increase profits in the water industry, an industry notorious for its high energy costs.
In the Victorian city of Portland, another company, Wannon Water, is looking to cut on costs as well, via building a new, 800kW wind turbine to be used for powering its local water and sewer treatment plant. In another location in the city, North East Water is working on the installation of 43kW worth of new solar panels, as well as 40kW of battery storage at its local Yakandandah facility.
Other similar projects are happening across Australia, with the local government even aiming to install solar panels on the Gold Coast wastewater ponds, but SA Water’s project is easily the most ambitious of them all, with its ultimate goal of cutting power bills to zero.
According to SA Water’s CEO, Roch Ceroux, the company had already manage to reduce power costs by AU$3M annually since 2013, so they know that with enough effort, their ambitious goal is achievable, with the right steps.