SA installs over 350,000 solar panels across the region
As part of SA Water’s Zero Cost Energy Future project, over 350,000 solar panels are installed across the region to help lower costs and reduce carbon emissions.
367,769 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels have been placed at 33 SA Water treatment plants and pump stations, creating over 250 jobs during their construction.
The $300 million project includes 30,000 solar PV panels at the Happy Valley Reservoir, making the area the world’s largest fully moveable solar array.
Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said the achievement proves South Australia continues to be a leader in renewable energy.
“With the ability to generate almost double the energy needs of the nearby Happy Valley Water Treatment Plant, on-site battery storage will complement the solar panels allowing energy to be stored and also released back to the market,” Minister Speirs said.
“With all solar panels now installed and 24 sites fully commissioned and connected to the National Electricity Market, SA Water and its partners are finishing the remaining connections, when the true benefits of this exciting renewable project will shine.”
Once the solar panels are connected to the National Electricity Market, SA Water’s electricity costs will be slashed. The project will also produce enough green energy to power 50,000 homes.
Happy Valley’s local community was heavily involved in the project, making sure that the project was visually sympathetic to the area’s environment.
SA Water Senior Manager of Zero Cost Energy Future Nicola Murphy said the energy that will be generated will be used to reduce reliance on the grid after energy costs reached $86 million last year.
“We can also create an added revenue stream by selling any excess solar energy back to the national grid, where it can be used across Australia,” Senior Manager Murphy said.
“Just like how thousands of South Australians use solar panels at home, we’re capitalising on some of our physical assets to work harder for us while still performing their vital functions of delivering trusted water and wastewater services.”