Western Australia’s (WA) water and wastewater provider, Water Corporation, will spend $30 million on installing about 45,000 rooftop solar panels at pump stations, other buildings and borefields across the state over the next three years as part of an ongoing strategy to significantly reduce its environmental impact.
The project is expected to reduce its emissions by about 18,000 tonnes/year, which is roughly the equivalent of taking 7,700 cars off the road.
The utility already has 30 renewable energy projects across the state, including six in regional WA.
The new funding will see solar panels installed at 50 more sites and is part of Water Corp’s broader aim to significantly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. This also includes a focus on energy efficiency, tree planting and emissions offsets.
WA Water Minister Dave Kelly said the increase in solar power was particularly important as the state’s water supplies are being affected by climate change and a decline in rainfall.
“It is important water utilities take every opportunity now to lead by example and do what they can to increase the use of renewable energy, such as solar, to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions that fast-track climate change,” he said.
“I am pleased the Water Corporation is utilising its assets around the state to take positive steps to reduce its energy footprint.”
In addition to new sustainability-focused projects, Water Corp is also making incremental changes to its asset design, maintenance and operating practices, as well as increasing staff awareness of energy use to improve its efficiency.