Stage one of a $3.4 million solar project is now underway at Black Rock in Victoria that will see more than 2,800 solar panels installed to generate around 1.3 gigawatt hours of electricity a year, supplying about 13 per cent of the Black Rock Water Reclamation Plant’s energy requirements.

The Government is ensuring that the water sector does its part to reduce emissions, become more sustainable and reduce operating costs.

The large-scale solar project is set to save Black Rock Water Reclamation Plant operators, Barwon Water, around $185,000 in annual operation costs, which will put downward pressure on prices for customers.

Minister for Water, Lisa Neville, said the first stage of the Black Rock solar project is benefiting the environment, providing more jobs and a boost to the regional economy.

“Barwon Water is investing in a renewable project that will reduce operating costs in an environmentally-friendly way that will make their operations more sustainable into the future,” Ms Neville said.

A second stage of the Black Rock Solar Project has also recently been approved which will deliver an additional two megawatts per year by 2020 when complete.

In addition to the large-scale solar project at Black Rock, Barwon Water is fast-tracking 99kW solar systems at five of its operational sites to produce another half a megawatt of renewable energy.

Barwon Waters’ solar projects are the Victorian Government’s water plan in action, with the State Government having committed $537 million over four years to deliver Water for Victoria.

Managing Director of Barwon Water, Tracey Slatter, said the project will have a long-term cost benefit as well as helping them meet global targets for emission reduction.

“We want to ensure our facilities are working as efficiently as possible and by investing in environmental efficiencies it helps to create a sustainable future for generations to come,” Ms Slatter said.

Barwon Water’s Strategy 2030 supports the delivery of Water for Victoria and outlines a target of zero net emissions by 2030.

The Water for Victoria plan sets a new long-term direction for managing the state’s precious water resources as it deals with the impacts of climate change and a growing population.

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