Thirteen water utilities in Victoria have decided to band together to acquire a major renewable energy deal that will provide 20 to 50 percent of each company’s overall electricity demands and lower the costs of the consumers’ water bills.
One Step Off the Grid reported that the formed umbrella organisation called Zero Emissions Water (ZEW) has inked a deal with the 200MW Kiamal Solar Farm. It is the biggest project as of today in Victoria and Total Eren manages its development in the state’s northwest region.
Victorian Water Minister, Lisa Neville, stated that the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) implies that water utilities in the state would be able to get electricity at a lower cost than what they would probably get individually. The power purchase deal will commence in October this year.
Neville said, “It is great to see our state’s water corporations working together on this innovative new model, which will not only help protect our environment into the future but also keep water bills affordable for Victorians.”
“We have seen the effects of climate change on our water storage levels, which is why it is more impirtant than ever to create solutions that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Neville added.
According to Paul O’Donohue, Chair of Zero Emissions Water (ZEW), the agreement hopes to guarantee a secure and sustainable water supply.
He said, “The security of Victoria’s water supply relies on our response to climate change and this is a solution that will greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
“The Victorian water industry is working together to meet renewable energy targets whilst see,ing to reduce costs for customers at a time when the cost of living can feel unpredictable for some,” he continued.
Member companies of the ZEW have already taken actions to lower their operating costs mainly by installing solar, wind, or battery storage systems.
David Ryan, the Managing Director of City of West Water, one of the utilities in ZEW, commented that the agreement would enable the acquisition of 3.76 gigawatt-hours (GWh) annually of renewable energy.
He said, “This is a key project that will help us achieve an ambitious target of net zero emissions by 2030 while reducing our energy costs and placing downward pressure on customer bills.”
“We are proud to have played a key role in this project, from conception to execution, and will continue to play a strong role in water sector collaboration to reduce emissions,” he concluded.
The latest Kiamal Solar Farm deal with the ZEW consortium follows the actions of the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project (MREP) – a bulk-buy renewables association of 14 leading universities, cultural institutions, corporations, and councils in Victoria. It is spearheaded by the city of Melbourne, which is now using 100 percent renewable sources.
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