Switch flicked on Australia's largest floating solar

The 350kw array features 644 individual solar panels and floats on one of the treatment lagoons at the Drouin wastewater treatment plant. 

Gippsland Water said it is the largest floating solar array in Australia.

Gippsland Water Acting Managing Director, Simon Aquilina, said the solar panels were part of the organisation’s commitment to renewable energy targets.  

“These solar panels will help us reach our renewable energy target of 100 per cent by 2025 and contribute to achieving our target of net-zero greenhouse emissions by 2030. They also positively impact the wastewater treatment process by reducing evaporation. 

“Solar energy helps reduce our operating costs and puts downward pressure on customer water bills. It also helps reduce our emissions.  

“At peak capacity, the solar array can fully power the treatment plant, producing enough kilowatts to power nearly 90 homes per day,” Mr Aquilina said. 

Gippsland Water said it is undertaking several innovative projects on the path to net zero, with solar power a major focus.  

The utility switched on a 1,200kW solar array last year at its Gippsland Water Factory in Maryvale.  

Drouin is the eighth Gippsland Water facility to be partially powered by solar energy.   

The floating solar panels are part of a $55 million upgrade to the Drouin Wastewater Treatment Plant.  

The floating solar panels are one of the finishing touches on the upgraded plant, which became operational in 2022.   

To learn more about how Gippsland Water is caring for the local environment for future generations, visit www.gippswater.com.au/caretakers 

Featured image: Floating solar array at Gippsland Water’s Drouin treatment plant. Courtesy of Gippsland Water. 

Assistant Editor, Utility magazine

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