Media Release


26 April 2019

Coliban 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.

Coliban Water Acting Managing Director Neville Pearce said the Victorian water industry is committed to advancing projects that benefit the environment and create more return on investment for customers.

“This is a fantastic initiative that we are proud to be part of and it is so important to contribute to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions for future sustainability.

“The ZEW partnership also closely aligns with our Strategy 2030 which aims to reduce our environmental footprint and work towards zero carbon,” Mr Pearce said.

The deal will allow Coliban Water to purchase eight gigawatt hours which is 20 percent of our 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.

The 13 water corporations that are part of Zero Emissions Water include:
• 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
• Wannon Water
• Westernport Water
• Western Water
• Yarra Valley Water

“In addition to the ZEW partnership, we’ve also got a number of other innovative renewable energy projects underway,” Mr Pearce said.

“One of which is an ‘outside the box’ approach to resource sustainability as part of our Epsom Energy Demand Project. We are playing a pioneering role in this space for the Victorian water industry.

“What this means is we are a participant in the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) demand response program. In periods of peak demand, we can turn off some of the non-essential energy intensive machinery at our Bendigo Water Reclamation Plant in Epsom.

“We also participate in a second program to help stabilise the electricity grid. Between these programs they help to lower our carbon emissions and reduce costs to our business.

“In regards to solar energy, a project to install solar panels is underway at our Bendigo Water Treatment Plant. Once operational, the 100 kilowatt system will reduce the plant’s grid energy consumption. It is expected to make an annual saving of around $24,000 on energy costs and should pay for itself in three to four years of operation.”

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