The Victorian water sector has committed to reducing its emissions to net-zero by 2050. To put the sector on the right path to achieving this goal, Victoria’s 19 water corporations have committed to reducing emissions by 42% by 2025.
By acting now and investing smartly, the water sector can tackle climate change and achieve these ambitious targets. The water sector is reducing its emissions by developing and using of energy-efficient equipment, capturing biogas to generate electricity, investing in renewable energy generation, purchasing renewable energy, generating carbon offset credits, and more.
This page outlines just a few examples of the great work underway.
Thirteen of Victoria’s water corporations have partnered to buy clean energy from the Kiamal Solar Farm. Located in north-west Victoria, the solar farm provides a cost-effective and environmentally friendly energy source. This innovative venture is the first of its kind for Australia’s water sector. It will operate under a new organisation called Zero Emissions Water (ZEW) Ltd.
By working together, the water corporations have been able to secure a competitive price on their solar investment. The expected savings from this deal will help water corporations offset rising energy costs. These savings will to put downward pressure on Victorians’ water bills.
In 2019, Wannon Water was able to take advantage of excellent conditions for wind power in its region through the construction of an 800-kilowatt wind turbine at the Portland Sewage Treatment Plant. This major achievement made Wannon Water the first water corporation in Australia to own and operate a wind turbine of this scale and size.
The turbine is expected to produce more than two gigawatt hours of renewable energy each year. This energy will power Portland’s energy-intensive water and sewage treatment facilities and help reduce Wannon Water’s carbon emissions by an average of 2,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent greenhouse gas emissions each year.
In an Australian first, Yarra Valley Water has constructed a waste to energy facility co-located at a sewage treatment plant. The purpose-built facility at Wollert provides an environmentally friendly disposal solution for commercial food waste.
The facility is located next to Yarra Valley Water’s Aurora sewage treatment plant. It generates more than enough energy to power the facility and the adjacent sewage treatment plant.
Excess energy is exported to the electricity grid. The plant has the capacity to process up to 33,000 tons of organic waste per year, around 140 tons per day. Turning food waste into energy helps reduce landfill and cut greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing energy costs helps to keep pressure off customers' water bills.
The plant is proof that waste to energy technology is the next big thing in tackling climate change. Similar technology could be used to manage different types of waste and landfill in the future. This will be important as Melbourne’s population continues to grow.
Barwon Water is partnering with the six councils (City of Greater Geelong, Surf Coast Shire, Golden Plains Shire, Colac Otway Shire, Borough of Queenscliff and Wyndham City) and major export manufacturers on opportunities for two Renewable Organic Networks.
The two Renewable Organics Networks will transform significant amounts of organic municipal and trade waste currently sent to landfill and water reclamation plants respectively into dispatchable renewable energy and agricultural soil enhancers.
The projects will create a circular economy for the region’s organic waste, reduce landfill costs for councils and reduce water infrastructure energy costs for Barwon Water customers.
Melbourne Water’s Eastern Treatment Plant (ETP) is set to become one of the largest ‘behind-the-meter’ solar installations in Australia, with work to begin on construction of a 19 megawatt solar farm.
By mid-2022, the farm will house 39,000 solar panels and will create significant amounts of renewable electricity to help power the plant–approximately 36% of ETP’s total energy needs. The plant will reduce the amount of energy Melbourne Water sources from the electricity grid, reducing Melbourne Water’s carbon emissions by more than 30,000 tonnes a year.
The project is a key part of Melbourne Water’s obligation to halve its emissions by 2025 on its path to reduce them to net zero by 2030.
To find out more on this project, as well as others being conducted by Melbourne Water to reduce emissions, visit Melbourne Water's Our Path to Net Zero page.
Page last updated: 15/02/21