Managing Director Andrew Jeffers said the projects provided a range of benefits for Wannon Water’s customers and the environment.
“We’ve pledged to reduce carbon emissions by 40 per cent by the year 2025 and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050,” Mr Jeffers said.
“In total, these renewable energy projects will reduce Wannon Water’s emission by over 3,000 tonnes per year - the equivalent of 250 Victorian households.
“Energy is a significant operational cost for Wannon Water and these initiatives will also provide future savings for our customers.”
Local contractors are currently constructing the foundations for the wind turbine at Portland’s Sewage Treatment Plant in Olearia Road.
Reinforced concrete piles have been bored 20 metres down to the bedrock to support the 50-metre high steel tower, gearbox-less generator and 24-metre long blades. This equipment is due to be installed next month.
Once fully commissioned, the generator will produce more than two gigawatt hours of renewable energy each year.
Mr Jeffers said Wannon Water will become the first water corporation in Australia to own and operate a wind turbine of this scale. “The generator will contribute significantly towards Portland achieving zero-net emissions for its water and sewage treatment systems.
“It will also be the first wind turbine 100 per cent owned and operated by a Victorian Government entity in more than 30 years.
Wannon Water’s carbon neutrality program manager Murray Dancey said the corporation’s solar panel systems, installed over the past two years, are also delivering strong results.
“The Warrnambool Water Treatment Plant’s solar panel system went live in December,” Mr Dancey said. “It’s our largest solar photovoltaic array to date and features 936 panels with a capacity of 250 kilowatts.”
The plant is Wannon Water’s largest water treatment facility, producing high quality drinking water for the communities of Warrnambool, Allansford and Koroit.
“The Grieve Street site has limited spare land, so we decided to use the concrete roof on a large water storage tank for solar power production,” Mr Dancey said.
“During the first quarter of 2019, the system produced 113 megawatt hours of clean renewable energy and avoided 120 tonnes of carbon emissions.
“The system has reduced our grid-energy demands by 50 per cent. We also supplied 36 megawatt hours of clean energy to the local Warrnambool electricity grid.”
A 344-panel array at the Hamilton Water Treatment Plant and a 344-panel array on the Gateway Road roof are helping to reduce annual electricity use by 25 per cent.