With the popularity of novelty large items in many regional towns across Australia, Warrnambool is going a step further by creating its own ‘big’ thing for visitors to check out. The only difference is, Warrnambool’s big development – a huge floating solar panel system, is set to deliver terrific value to the town through a reduction in carbon emissions. It might not have the novelty appeal of a Big Pineapple or Big Banana, but it definitely delivers more financial and environmental savings.
The floating solar panel project
Earmarked for the middle of Brierly Basin is a $1.4 million pontoon project comprising 1,200 double-sided solar panels. The project is being built by the local water authority, Wannon Water, and they estimate the project will secure savings of around $500,000 per year in energy costs, not to mention the 600 tonnes of carbon emissions reductions.
Brierly Basin is a raw water collection reservoir that treats water from the Otways before distributing it to homes around south-west Victoria and Warrnambool in particular. The cost of treating and distributing water is immense, and these annual energy savings will be a huge bonus for the company.
While the Warrnambool project has been funded solely by Wannon Water, the state government has also invested around $200,000 for a similar project in Gippsland. With that being said, the Warrnambool project is the first of its kind in Australia and certainly the largest.
The race to net-zero
The Victorian government has been encouraging water companies to commit to renewable energy targets, and Wannon Water has certainly taken up the challenge. Wannon Water chair Jacinta Ermacora has said the project will allow them to reduce operating costs, deliver savings to customers and also help the environment. The company has committed to a 40% reduction in emissions by 2025 and net-zero emissions by 2030.
“We believe this is not just achievable but is the right thing to do — for Wannon Water, for our customers, and for our community.”
Interested in solar energy?
Here at Ahlec Solar, we’re passionate about renewable energy and saving money for our customers. You can slash your annual energy costs considerably with solar, and almost completely escape energy bills with the appropriate battery solutions. We can’t build you a giant floating solar system, but we can definitely help you take control of your energy bills with rooftop solar panels and batteries. To find out more, contact the team at Ahlec Solar today, and we’ll be happy to discuss your needs.