South Australia utility SA Water continues its impressive – and now award winning – solar rollout this week, with a PV and battery storage system installed at a major water storage and treatment plant in the Adelaide Hills.
SA Water said on Thursday that the 1.1MW of solar and 528kWh on-site battery energy storage system were now powering the Summit facility in Balhannah, one of the largest drinking water treatment plants in the region.
The Summit renewable energy system, pictured above, marks the utility’s 33rd solar array, including four more in the Adelaide Hills, that have being strategically installed across South Australia.
The new system is part of SA Water’s Zero Energy Cost Future strategy, which includes the installation of 154MW of solar and 34MWh of battery storage across more than 70 of the utility’s sites, in partnership with Adelaide-based Enerven – a wholly-owned subsidiary of SA Power Networks.
The effort recently secured the 2021 Australian Construction Achievement Award for Enerven, for demonstrating “best-for-project outcomes” can be achieved when clients, contractors, and the supply chain collaborate.
One such outcomes has included a 12MW PV installation at the Happy Valley Reservoir – which supplies the drinking water for nearly half of metro Adelaide – using the pre-fab “Maverick” solar tech of NSW innovator 5B.
The Summit system is notable for the addition of battery storage, which SA Water’s senior manager of Zero Cost Energy Future, Nicola Murphy, said gave the syste some important added benefits.
“[The battery system] will allow us to capture and use solar energy as required, and better manage the volatile and often-fluctuating prices of the energy market,” said Murphy.
“It also allows us to sell any excess power that these panels generate back to the market for other users, adding another revenue stream we can utilise in keeping our costs down.
“With an annual carbon emissions reduction of around 760 tonnes from this site alone, we know this array will be a key part in our proactive efforts in taking action towards addressing climate change while simultaneously reducing operational costs,” Murphy added.
“When you consider our operating energy expenses reached $86 million in the 2019-20 financial year, we’re excited to finalise the connection of all our 30-plus locations to the national grid ahead of the warmer months ahead, where the real benefits of solar power come to the front.”