The project uses about 90 megawatts of power from the grid to operate the plant and the water transfer pipeline to produce 150 billion litres of water per year.
If the government orders less water, then less power is required.
AquaSure will offset all of the power used for operation of the plant and transfer pipeline by buying renewable energy certificates through AGL. This will provide green energy through sources from AGL's portfolio, including wind farms.
To put it in perspective, per household per day, the desalination plant uses about the same amount of energy as a standard 4-star fridge. Or, put differently, a hot water service uses almost eight times as much energy as the desalination plant per household per day.
The power supply was placed underground, rather than overhead, at the request of communities and landowners. It is 87‑kilometres long and is a dedicated supply for the desalination plant. The cables are located in the same easement as the pipeline (in separate trenches), sharing the same alignment except for a 9‑kilometre section where it diverts at Clyde North to Cranbourne Terminal Station.
High-voltage alternating current (HVAC) was used because it provides a reliable supply of power. HVAC loses less energy than high-voltage direct current and is technically less complicated.
The HVAC design uses power-load compensating equipment, which is co-located with the pipeline booster pump station at Clyde North and at a point south of Lang Lang. Each of these installations occupies a small area and has landscaping to minimise visual impacts.
Fibre-optic cables have been installed with the power supply for plant, power and pipeline operations.