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Western Australia’s Water Corporation has completed its largest ever solar installation – 688 solar panels, which is equivalent to 310kW and enough to power 90 average households.

Western Australian Water Minister, Dave Kelly, said the solar installation is part of the water utility’s renewable energy program, designed to help it achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 or earlier.

The $550,000, 310kW solar installation will provide almost all the power for Water Corporation’s Balcatta office during the day.

The installation saw 688 solar panels installed by local Aboriginal-owned contractor Wilco Electrical, which supplemented 348 existing panels, and enabled the creation of two new Aboriginal electrical apprenticeships.

“Western Australia is one of the most climate-impacted areas of the world, and with a drying climate more energy will be required to source and distribute water across the state – desalination in particular is an energy intensive process,” Mr Kelly said.

“Renewable energy sources, such as the major solar installation at its Balcatta office, are part of Water Corporation’s ongoing work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its operations, and will help underpin the Corporation’s commitment to be a net-zero greenhouse gas emission utility by 2050 or earlier.

“A low-carbon future creates economic opportunities and I am delighted that the Balcatta project enabled the creation of two new Aboriginal electrical apprenticeships in WA’s green energy sector.”

In 2020-21 alone, Water Corporation’s renewable energy program added about 1,500MW hours of renewable energy generation at 14 sites across the state, including two solar/battery hybrid installations, reducing emissions by approximately 1,000 tonnes per year.

As well as ongoing major wind and solar farm contracts, the solar energy program is part of Water Corporation’s strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which also includes energy efficiency, tree planting, and emissions offsets.

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