Local News

Renewable Energy Powering Hills Drinking Water

The_100_roof-mounted_solar_panels_at_Mount_Pleasant_will_help_reduce_SA_Waters_operating_costs_1.jpgRenewable energy is now powering drinking water in Mt Pleasant, with more projects on the way for the Adelaide Hills region.

More than 100 solar panels have been installed at SA Water’s Mount Pleasant Water Treatment Plant as the utility makes progress in its pursuit of zero cost energy. 

The roof-mounted solar photovoltaic panels will help reduce SA Water’s operating costs and carbon emissions though generating 58 megawatt hours (MWh) of green energy each year. 

SA Water’s Senior Manager Zero Cost Energy Future Nicola Murphy said the solar array is one of four being installed by the water utility across the Adelaide Hills area. 

“Now in the ground and capturing the winter sun, electricity generated by our panels at Mount Pleasant will help reduce the plant’s operating costs while reducing our carbon emissions by around 26 tonnes annually,” Nicola Murphy said. 

“A combined 3,500 panels are also currently being installed at our Hahndorf Wastewater Treatment Plant, Summit reservoir and water treatment plant and water pump station at Lobethal, which will power our operations delivering clean, safe drinking water and sewage services to Adelaide Hills customers.” 

One of the largest single electricity consumers in the state, SA Water’s intensive drinking water and wastewater pumping and treatment operations throughout a dry 2018/19 cost $83 million. 

SA Water’s ambitious renewable energy management initiative will see around 500,000 solar panels installed at 35 of its sites to produce a total of 242 GWh of electricity, along with 34 MWh of battery storage. 

SA Water’s zero cost energy future initiative has already seen around 147,000 solar panels positioned at sites like the Bolivar Wastewater Treatment Plant and major pump stations along the Morgan to Whyalla Pipeline, with the remaining panels due to be installed before the end of the year. 

Photo at top of roof-mounted solar photovoltaic panels at Mt Pleasant, supplied by SA Water