Our commitment to combat climate change

Wannon Water recognises the importance of playing our part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and keep the global temperature rise to no more than two degrees.

We have a strong track record as an environmentally sustainable business and are committed to enhancing our environmental performance through climate change mitigation and adaption.

We have pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by the year 2025 and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2030. Our Carbon Neutrality Action Plan outlines key initiatives to meet these targets which are set out in the State Government’s Water for Victoria plan.

Energy is a significant operational cost for our business so these initiatives will not only help the environment, but provide future savings for our customers.

Portland wind turbine

Portland turbine

A major achievement in 2019 was the construction of an 800-kilowatt wind turbine at the Portland Sewage Treatment Plant, making us the first water corporation in Australia to own and operate a wind turbine of this scale. It is also the first wind turbine 100 per cent owned and operated by a Victorian Government entity in more than 30 years.

The turbine will produce more than two gigawatt hours of renewable energy each year to power the city’s energy-intensive water and sewage treatment facilities and reduce carbon emissions by an average of 2,500 tonnes a year.

The $4.2 million capital cost of the turbine will be paid back within 10 years through reduced energy bills.

The project supported regional economic growth and prosperity with local companies Keppel Prince sub-contracted to manufacture the tower using local steel, and G.R. Carr completing the civil works.

Reinforced concrete piles were driven 20 metres into the bedrock to support the 50-metre high steel tower, Enercon gearbox-less generator and 24-metre long blades.

Solar PV panels 

Warrnambool WTP solar panels

Solar initiatives include the installation of a 250-kilowatt solar photovoltaic (PV) system at the Warrnambool Water Treatment Plant, and 100-kilowatt systems at the Hamilton Water Treatment Plant and our Gateway Road corporate office.

In 2022, we plan to install Australia’s largest floating solar PV system. The system will provide more than 500kW of power to our Brierly Basin Reservoir pumping stations.   

Carbon offsets

We also have a 50-year agreement with CO2 Australia to manage a landmark carbon offset project which was the first of its kind in the Victorian water industry. Blue Mallee plantations were established across 360 hectares of land in 2009, sequestering an average of 2,500 tonnes of CO2 each year.

Zero Emissions Water

Wannon Water has joined 12 other Victorian water corporations to sign a new energy partnership, known as Zero Emissions Water (ZEW), a first of its kind in Australia.

We have committed to support the generation of four gigawatt hours of electricity each year from the Kiamal Solar Farm in north-west Victoria, which is the equivalent of 20 per cent of our annual energy needs. The project is another innovative example of how we are reducing our overall energy costs and carbon emissions.

We continue to investigate and pursue further opportunities to reduce our emissions while also delivering a wide range of benefits to our customers.