Melbourne Water is nearing the completion of a nearly 20MW solar plant, one of the biggest single commercial PV arrays to be installed in Australia, to date.
The 19.4MW (18MWac) project at Melbourne Water’s Eastern Treatment Plant in Carrum Downs will help power the operations of the facility, which processes about 40 per cent of Melbourne’s sewage.
The progress of the massive “behind the meter” solar farm was marked on LinkedIn last week by the developer leading the project, Beon Energy Solutions.
“Our 19.4MW solar farm at Eastern Treatment Plant, set to be a standout in Australia for behind the meter solar projects,” the post from Beon’s head of C&I solutions, Nick Goldsbrough-Reardon, said.
“Incredible work by all of our teams in powering through a variety of COVID challenges. Excited to see this energised!”
Melbourne Water, which is owned by the Victorian government, posted its own update on the project in mid-September, after the installation of the installation of the first row of solar panels.
The company said the ETP solar farm was part of the adaptation of its operations to prepare for a changing climate, reducing carbon emissions and generating more renewable energy.
“This project is an important part of Melbourne Water’s Path To Net Zero campaign and to see the first row of panels installed is a great step forward,” said Melbourne Water’s project manager Kai So.
“We anticipate steady progress as more and more rows of panels are scheduled to be installed in the coming months. The project is due to be completed by mid-2022.”
Australia’s water companies have been some of the earliest in the commercial and industrial space to make the switch to solar, as they work to shift their enegy intensive operations to cheaper, cleaner power.
In September, South Australian utility SA Water switched on 1.1MW of solar and a 528kWh on-site battery energy storage system, to help power a major water storage and treatment plant in the Adelaide Hills.
The Summit renewable energy system marked the utility’s 33rd solar array, including four more in the Adelaide Hills, that it has been strategically installing across South Australia.
SA Water’s Zero Energy Cost Future strategy 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.