Contracts signed for Portland renewable energy project

23 August 2018

Wannon Water is pushing ahead with a $4.2 million wind generation project that will provide all the power for its energy-intensive water and sewage treatment facilities in Portland.
The project is the latest step in Wannon Water’s pledge to reduce carbon emissions by 40 per cent by the year 2025 and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Once commissioned, the generator will contribute significantly towards Portland achieving zero-net emissions from local renewable power generation for its water and sewage treatment systems.
Managing Director Andrew Jeffers said the capital cost would be paid back within 10 years through reduced energy bills. “Over the life of the asset, the total payback is forecast to be substantial, resulting in future savings for our customers.”
“We also recognise the importance of supporting regional economic growth and prosperity. The project therefore includes input from at least one local supplier,” Mr Jeffers said.
The project aligns with Water for Victoria, the Victorian Government’s long-term blueprint for investment in water-related activities and the water sector to support a healthy environment, a prosperous economy and thriving communities.
The Water for Victoria plan sets a new long-term direction for managing the state’s precious water resources as we deal with the impacts of climate change and a growing population. The document sets out a range of climate mitigation strategies for water utilities, who are the largest carbon emitters in the public sector.
German company Enercon won the $2.1 million contract for the supply and delivery of the innovative gearbox-less E48 generator that will be located at the sewage treatment plant site in Olearia Road. Portland company Keppel Prince has been sub-contracted to manufacture the tower using local steel. In another win for locals, Portland firm G.R. Carr is the successful tenderer for the $770,000 contract for the project’s civil works.
Work at the site is expected to begin soon and the project is scheduled to be commissioned by mid-2019, weather permitting.
Once connected to the grid network, the wind generator will produce more than two gigawatt hours of renewable energy each year and reduce carbon emissions by 2,000 tonnes a year. It will be smaller than other generators installed along the coast and will connect into existing power infrastructure.
Wannon Water also has a range of other carbon mitigation projects underway or complete in order to achieve the targets set out in the Water for Victoria plan. These include solar generation systems at the corporate office in Warrnambool and on water storage tanks at Hamilton and Warrnambool.