Zero Emissions Water set to save water corporations millions

Millions of dollars will be saved by water corporations in Victoria thanks to Zero Emissions Water (ZEW) and the Intelligent Water Networks (IWN).

ZEW is a large-scale renewable energy partnership comprised of 13 water corporations from across the state, which will allow them to purchase renewable energy together via a long-term agreement with Kiamal Solar Farm near Ouyen.

Corporations involved will be able to access the energy market at a much cheaper rate than if each water corporation were to do it alone, as well as allowing smaller water corporations with limited energy volumes to directly access the purchase power agreement (PPA) market.

Yarra Valley Water have estimated that they’ll save around $1 million across the 11-year contract period, while Barwon Water will save $50,000 - $100,000 per annum.

ZEW is run by a board, made up of nominated representatives from member water corporations. There will be a tiered membership fee of either $5,000, $11,000 or $15,000 per year dependant on contracted volume to cover administration costs.

The partnership will allow water corporations to purchase between 20 to 50 per cent of their total energy needs, with a combined emissions reduction expected to be 80,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.

Yarra Valley Water will receive 7,000 MWh per year for the duration of the PPA which will run from 1 September 2019 to 31 December 2030. This makes up 25 percent of Yarra Valley Water’s total energy needs.

Based on a contract period of 12 years, Yarra Valley Water would directly purchase in the order of 78,750 MWh of renewable energy for approximately $5.2 million.

Barwon Water will purchase approximately 30 per cent of its annual electricity volume from the project, the equivalent of 2,000 households consumption. Combined with Barwon Water’s existing renewable generation sources and projects underway, this brings the organisations total annual renewable generation capacity to 50 per cent.