Renewable Energy Project

We’re investing more than $15 million to install renewable energy systems at wastewater treatment plants and pump stations across our network. The behind-the-meter solar photovoltaic (PV) systems will generate electricity to power our facilities, reduce our impact on the environment and decrease our ongoing electricity costs.

This major investment in renewable energy will take us one step closer to achieving our aspirational goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030.

Electricity is one of our major expenses, accounting for up to 10 per cent of our operating costs. Solar is one of a number of opportunities available that can help to reduce these costs, and reduce carbon emissions.

Background

The NSW Government is supporting this major investment, which will deliver over six megawatts of solar within the next few years. In 2020, we installed our first 99.7kW system at Branxton Wastewater Treatment Works (WWTW), made up of both roof and ground mounted solar panels.

We’re applying learnings from this pilot project as we continue to roll out solar at priority sites across our network. The focus is now on Stage 1, where construction is well advanced at a number of sites.

Solar PV system under construction at Morpeth Wastewater Treatment Works.

Stage 1

Stage 1 is well underway and will see up to 1.2 Megawatts of solar installed at:

  • Morpeth WWTW (600kW)
  • Kurri Kurri WWTW (300kW)
  • Raymond Terrace WWTW (200kW)
  • Boulder Bay WWTW (85kW)
  • Paxton WWTW (40kW)
  • Tarro works depot (14kW).

Stage 1 is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

Stage 2

The second stage of the project is being delivered in 2021/22, with close to 1.2 Megawatts of solar installed at :

  • Branxton WWTW (200kW system expansion)
  • Cessnock WWTW (100kW system)
  • Shortland WWTW (800kW system).

Stage 2 is expected to be completed by March 2022.

Stage 3

We’re planning to trial a new 800-1000kW floating solar system at Dora Creek WWTW in 2022/23, while we continue to investigate further opportunities for this technology.

Stage 4

A large 2-2.5MW solar project is under development on Hunter Water land adjacent to the Balickera Pump Station. This project would help to power a number of critical Hunter Water assets on our own private high voltage network.

Planning for additional stages in underway.

Construction impacts

The work at most sites will be carried out on Hunter Water owned land, with minimal disruption to the local community. Neighbours will be advised before any work begins.

Our wastewater treatment plants will remain operational throughout construction to ensure the wastewater service is maintained.

Solar panels installed at Branxton Wastewater Treatment Works

Thirsty for more information?

Learn more about the Renewables