Queensland Urban Utilities has harnessed solar power at three sewage treatment plants and one depot in the Lockyer Valley.

In a first for the region, almost 250 solar panels have been installed.

Queensland Urban Utilities spokesperson, Michelle Cull, said the solar panels will cut power use at the facilities by more than 20 per cent.

“It makes sense to harness the Lockyer Valley’s abundance of sunshine and space to adopt more sustainable sewage treatment practices,” she said.

“Solar energy is a win-win for both the environment and the business, as it reduces our carbon footprint as well as our reliance on the electricity grid.

“We expect the new panels to reduce the annual carbon dioxide emissions of the facilities by more than 70,000kg of and deliver operational savings of around $22,000 per year.”

The initiative is part of Queensland Urban Utilities’ Renewable Energy Plan, which aims to cut emissions.

The Laidley Sewage Treatment Plant and Gatton depot have both received 12kW systems, while a 5kW system was installed at the Forest Hill Sewage Treatment Plant and a 30kW system at the Gatton Sewage Treatment Plant.

Ms Cull said that’s a combined 59kW, which is the equivalent emission reduction of taking 27 cars off the road for an entire year.

“Queensland Urban Utilities is always exploring innovative ways to become more sustainable, both environmentally and economically,” she said.

“We hope similar solar panel schemes can be rolled at more sewage treatment plants and depots across our five local council regions.”

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