Goulburn Valley Water (GVW) is in the implementation stage of a project to install 1.9MW of solar systems on GVW land and infrastructure to help tackle climate change.

Over the coming months, GVW will be rolling out 16 solar systems across sites in ten GVW townships, including Shepparton, Kilmore, Cobram and Mansfield, to help the Victorian Government reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

GVW Managing Director, Peter Quinn, said GVW has committed to investing $5.39 million in the initiative and that going down this path just makes sense.

“This is about maximising the efficiency of our business and embracing renewable energy to reduce our operating costs, keeping bills low for our customers,” Mr Quinn said.

“This project aims to deliver multiple benefits to GVW, our customers and the environment.”

“With land available around much of our infrastructure, and favourable climatic conditions in our service area, consideration of solar technology stands out as an obvious step forward in this space, and one we’re more than ready to take.”

GVW Project Manager, Glenn Bewicke, said GVW is committed to its carbon emission reduction targets and has selected the largest power consumer sites as priorities for the roll out.

“This is a technically feasible and cost-effective way for GVW to meet some of our objectives,” Mr Bewicke said.

“The treatment of water and wastewater is an energy-intensive business, in particular at our sites with food processing industries, so the installation of solar arrays at these larger sites was a priority.”

Over a 12 month period, more than 4,800 high-efficiency solar PV panels will be installed on available land surrounding some of GVW facilities, as well as some clearwater storage tanks and building roofs.

“This project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as costs associated with energy bills,” Mr Bewicke said.

“The technology is expected to contribute to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 4,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent each year, with the average annual renewable energy output more than 3,000MW hours. This is equivalent to providing clean energy for 330 average residential homes.“

Mr Bewicke said the new solar systems will pay for themselves in around eleven years through reduced energy usage. The arrays have an estimated operating life of 20-30 years.

Charlotte Pordage is Editor of Utility magazine, a position she has held since November 2018. She joined the team as an Associate Editor in October 2017, after sharpening her writing and editing skills across a range of print and digital publications. Charlotte graduated from Royal Holloway, University of London, in 2011 with joint honours in English and Latin. When she's not putting together Australia's only dedicated utility magazine, she can usually be found riding her horse or curled up with a good book.

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