South Australia’s largest water and sewerage services supplier, SA Water, is set to install another 5MW of solar PV, including a floating solar plant, after local outfit Enerven was awarded the tender for the job.
Enerven said on Wednesday that it had won a Stage 1 contract to design and construct ground-based solar installations at facilities in Hope Valley, Christies Beach and Glenelg, and to develop a floating solar PV array.
SA Water, which has targeted zero net energy by 2020, began its shift to solar last year, with a tender to install 100kW solar and 50kWh battery storage at its Crystal Brook Workshop site.
The utility, which manages more than 27,000km of water mains, including 9,266 km in the Adelaide metropolitan area, said it was installing the solar and storage system to manage periods of high electricity prices, and to ensure safe and sustainable delivery of water to customers.
Ultimately, the company aims to get its on-site renewable energy generation to the point where it is equal to the total annual amount of energy used by SA Water’s buildings and desalination operations.
And it is not alone in its quest. As we have reported on One Step Off The Grid, a number of Australian water utilities are turning to solar and/or wind energy to lower costs and help guarantee supply.
In Queensland, Logan City Council has installed an off-grid solar and battery storage system as part of a micro-grid powered “electro-chlorinator” that will help maintain local drinking water quality 24 hours a day.
The solution – delivered by the Logan Water Infrastructure Alliance and solar installer CSR Bradford – combined a 95kWh Tesla Powerpack with 323 PV panels at the site of the relatively new 20 Megalitre Round Mountain Reservoir, which provides drinking water for residents in Flagstone, Yarrabilba, North Maclean, Spring Mountain and Woodhill.
In the regional Victorian city of Portland, Wannon Water has installed a 100kW solar system on a water tank at its treatment plant at Hamilton that was expected to cut the plant’s grid electricity consumption by 25 per cent.
In NSW, a community-funded 100kW floating solar array has been installed at the East Lismore Sewage Treatment Plant in NSW.
And Queensland’s City of Gold Coast is proposing to install a series of floating solar PV arrays on its network of wastewater ponds – both to help power the city’s wastewater treatment plants and to cut evaporation from the ponds.
Enerven says design of the SA Water solar project has commenced, and is due for completion in September 2018.