Melbourne Water is making an effort to reduce carbon emissions while also increasing energy production for the Winneke Water Treatment Plant through the construction of the Winneke Solar Farm.
The 19,000 panel farm will deliver 12,400 MWh/annum, the equivalent of about 2,500 households’ yearly demand. All the energy produced will be used by the treatment plant and pumping stations. Any excess energy will be fed into the public grid for external use.
The total estimated carbon reduction is 12,000 TCO2-e/annum.
In an Australian first, Melbourne Water has utilised terrain tracking sensors for the solar farm’s construction. These sensors allowed the construction to occur on a slope, which otherwise would have required extensive earthworks, impacting financial viability.
By avoiding extensive earthworks, the panels were installed with minimal ground disturbance – a key restraining factor owing to water purity and soil runoff.
In order to maximise energy production in a limited area, the panels rotate on a pivoting bar which follows the movement of the sun. Additionally, the panels are bifacial, capable of generating energy from both sides of the panel.
This solar farm is an example of the Victorian Government’s commitment to decarbonisation and achieving a 50 per cent reduction of emissions by 2025, and net zero by 2030.