Victorian Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water, Lisa Neville, and Member for Buninyong, Geoff Howard, have announced the contractor selected to design and build the mini hydro-electric power station at Lal Lal Reservoir.
Tamar Hydro has been awarded the contract for the hydro-electric power station, located south-east of Ballarat, following a tender process run by Central Highlands Water.
Victorian Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water, Lisa Neville, said, “The Lal Lal Reservoir hydro-electric power generator is a fantastic project that will reduce greenhouse emissions, reduce operating costs and provide additional green energy to feed back into the grid.”
The Victorian Labor Government pledged $500,000 towards the $846,000 project in 2015 with the joint managers of the reservoir, Central Highlands Water and Barwon Water, paying the balance of the cost of the project.
The generator will produce up to 526MW of electricity – enough to power about 80 homes – which will be used to run the Lal Lal Water Treatment Plant, with any excess electricity fed back into the grid.
The project is expected to save more than 500tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year.
Tamar Hydro is the largest manufacturer of hydro turbines in the Australasia/Pacific region and has designed and built more than 200 turbines, with extensive experience in the sector over the past 30 years.
Construction of the hydro plant at Lal Lal Reservoir is due to begin in May 2016 and will be completed in late 2016.
Lal Lal Reservoir is fed by the West Moorabool River catchment and currently supplies both Ballarat and Geelong.
The reservoir is also an important part of Victoria’s water grid, which the Victorian Labor Government announcing it will act to secure Ballarat’s water supply.
Ballarat and Geelong currently both have access to water in Lal Lal Reservoir.
Geelong has an interconnecter which means that city will be able to access water from Melbourne’s water pool, which could allow Ballarat to access more water in the Lal Lal Reservoir as Geelong will be compensated through its interconnector with water from Melbourne’s system.