The Western Australian Government has announced that Water Corporation has secured the development rights of what will be one of the state’s largest renewable wind energy projects, progressing towards its target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions.
The utility is among the highest electricity consumers on the South West Interconnected System (SWIS), spurred by a growing reliance on desalination to produce drinking water in the face of climate change and securing the development rights for the Flat Rocks Wind Farm Stage Two from Western Australian-owned Moonies Hill Energy will significantly reduce Water Corporation’s emissions.
Located 30km south of Kojonup in the State’s Great Southern, Flat Rocks Wind Farm Stage Two will export up to 100MW of renewable energy into the South West Interconnected System, with the potential to upgrade the capacity to in excess of 150MW.
Up to 24 of the project’s 200m high wind turbines are expected to generate a quarter of the total renewable energy Water Corporation needs to achieve its target of net zero emissions across all its operations by 2035.
The project will also support the Western Australian Government’s commitment to power Perth’s two existing desalination plants and the proposed Alkimos Seawater Desalination Plant with renewable energy.
Western Australian Premier, Mark McGowan, said “Projects such as this are key in the transition to renewable energy and the decarbonisation of our electricity supply.
“Our Government is investing $3.8 billion in renewable generation and storage to create thousands of new jobs in regional Western Australia and support our commitment to net zero emissions by 2050.”
The project is part of Water Corporation’s plan to secure up to 400MW of additional wind-generated renewable energy, and will generate enough clean energy to supply water to around 640,000 households for one year and offset up to 240kt of greenhouse gas emissions.
Flat Rocks Wind Farm Stage Two is also part of the Western Australian Government’s $3.8 billion investment in green power infrastructure to decarbonise the SWIS while securing electricity supply.
The acquisition of the development rights to Flat Rocks Wind Farm Stage 2 is aligned with the State Government’s commitment to a whole-of-government greenhouse gas reduction target of 80 per cent below 2020 levels by 2030 and net zero by 2050.
The announcement builds on Water Corporation’s significant work to reduce its carbon footprint by already sourcing 65MW of renewable wind and solar energy, installing 5,400 on-site solar panels, introducing electric and hybrid passenger vehicles, and capturing and using biogas to power wastewater treatment processes.
Western Australian Water Minister, Dave Kelly, said “Western Australia has led the world in securing public drinking water despite climate change dramatically reducing the amount of streamflow into Perth’s dams.”
Mr Kelly said the announcement is a significant step towards the goal for every drop of water used in homes, businesses and communities across the state being supplied using renewable energy.
“That includes powering our existing desalination plants and a future plant proposed in Alkimos, with renewable energy.”