More than 366,000 solar panels are being installed at SA Water locations as part of the utility's Zero Cost Energy Future initiative - Copy

The SA branch of the Australian Institute of Energy Awards awarded its Energy Project of the Year to one of the Australian water industry’s largest solar projects.

SA Water’s Zero Cost Energy Future project claimed the top prize at the 2022 awards.

Winning Energy Project of the Year, SA Water’s ambitious renewable energy initiative uses more than 366,000 solar photo-voltaic panels generating an average of 242GW/h of energy per annum to significantly reduce the utility’s sizeable operating electricity costs.

Held annually, the state-based awards celebrate the milestones and successes achieved in South Australia’s energy industry each year.

SA Water’s General Manager of Strategy, Engagement and Innovation, Nicola Murphy, said the award is another accolade for the ambitious project, following recent success at the 2022 Australian Water Awards.

“Having identified our ability to become leaders in proactively managing our own energy requirements in the face of a volatile energy market, our Zero Cost Energy Future initiative has taken significant strides since first commencing construction back in 2019,” Ms Murphy said.

Harnessing seven key initiatives encompassing solar generation, battery storage and demand scheduling, SA Water will have the solar capacity to meet up to 70 per cent of its annual electricity needs in an average weather and water consumption year, while selling any excess power.

“When all of our 33 solar sites are energised and connected to the national grid, the estimated 89,000 tonnes achieved in emissions reductions every year of operation will be roughly the equivalent of removing more than 32,000 cars off our roads,” Ms Murphy said.

“To be recognised by the state’s energy industry as Energy Project of the Year is a feather in the cap for our team and contract partners working to deliver this exciting project for the benefit of our business, our customers and the wider community.

“The entire concept for this project was formed by our own people, demonstrating the skills and knowledge that our water industry here in South Australia has to create change on a large scale.”

Andrew Jackson and Nima Vahidi from SA Water accepting the award for Energy Project of the Year

Feature image courtesy of SA Water.
Caption: More than 366,000 solar panels are being installed at SA Water locations as part of the utility’s Zero Cost Energy Future initiative. 

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