SA Water Corporation readies to deploy 4.14 MW coastal PV project

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SA Water Corporation readies to welcome a 4.14 MW coastal PV project to its solar portfolio, as it moves on its ambitious plan to offset electricity bills with solar. 

China’s JA Solar has delivered all solar modules needed for the project, which will be used to provide reliable and clean energy for safe transportation of clean drinking water and treatment of wastewater.

The modules are being installed at three sites: Hope Valley Water Treatment Plant (1.5 MW), Glenelg Waste Water Treatment Plant (1.32 MW), and Christies Beach Waste Water Treatment Plant (1.32 MW).

Construction is carried out by Enerven Energy, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SA Power Networks. The local outfit won a tender earlier this year for Stage 1 ground-mounted solar installations across three sites as part of a 5 MW SA Water’s project, which also includes a floating solar PV plant.

According to Enerven, the ground-mounted project is due for completion late October, with the Glenelg site to be the final site commissioned and operational.

Overall, SA Water’s solar portfolio began taking shape with the installation of a pilot 100 kW solar PV and 50 kWh battery storage system at its Crystal Brook Depot.

This year, SA Water announced plans to install 152 MW of solar PV and 35 MWh of energy storage over the next two years. The systems will be deployed at approximately 70 of its sites around the state with an eye on the company’s  ambitious goal of achieving zero net electricity costs by 2020.

The company is seeking to effectively neutralize its huge electricity bills, which reached $55 million for 220 GWh in 2016-17, making SA Water one of the state’s largest electricity users.

“The maturity of solar technology has allowed us to confidently determine how and where it can assume supply for our energy-intensive water treatment and pumping operations, and export to the market to return revenue,” SA Water Chief Executive Roch Cheroux said in April, commenting on the zero net electricity cost plans.

SA Water announced a further $10 million investment in December 2017 in up to 6 MW of solar PV panels to be positioned at treatment facilities in metropolitan Adelaide.