Water Sector Signs Innovative Energy Deal

Monday, April 29th, 2019

South Gippsland Water will join 12 other leading Victorian water corporations in a new energy partnership that will help to minimise greenhouse gas emissions and reduce energy costs.

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 assist in managing affordable prices for customers.

South Gippsland Water Managing Director, Philippe du Plessis said that the Victorian water industry is committed to advancing projects that benefit the environment and create more return on investment for customers.

“We are pleased to be part of this significant partnership that will generate efficiencies and economic advantages to benefit our business and our customers but, most importantly, will be a major contributor to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fulfilling our commitment to climate change action.”

“South Gippsland Water takes its responsibility to improving environmental outcomes seriously,” confirmed Mr du Plessis. “This commitment is embedded into our corporate vision so that policies and strategies for operations and service delivery are aligned to ensure we fulfil our pledge to reduce our environmental impact.”

The Zero Emissions Water deal will allow South Gippsland Water to purchase 922MWh which is approximately 20% 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.

Guided by a robust sustainability strategy, South Gippsland Water has also been progressively delivering key projects that meld business outcomes with environmental action.

“We have been implementing energy efficiencies such as changing to LED security lighting at multiple worksites across the region, trialing low energy aeration of wastewater lagoon systems, and investment in solar panels where viable,” Mr du Plessis explained.

A 75kW behind-the-meter solar installation at South Gippsland Water’s Inverloch sewer pump station was commissioned mid-last year. The array of 278 solar panels, serviced by 3 inverters, produces 87% of the site’s energy, saving 96,707kg of carbon dioxide gases per year, making the site greener and more financially viable into the future.

Solar power, purchasing green power and accredited carbon offsets, collaborative renewable energy projects and investing in energy efficiencies are all on the list of priorities for South Gippsland Water to pursue.


Photo – Minister for Water Lisa Neville (centre) with water corporation representatives, including Philippe du Plessis (far right) Managing Director South Gippsland Water.