Renewable Energy Project

We’re investing more than $15 million to install renewable energy systems at treatment plants and pump stations across our network.

Our newly installed, behind-the-meter solar photovoltaic (PV) systems have already started generating electricity to power our facilities, reduce our impact on the environment and decrease our ongoing electricity costs.

This major investment in over six megawatts (MW) of renewable energy is a key step in helping us achieve our carbon reduction target to be net zero by 2035.

Electricity is one of our major expenses, accounting for up to 10 per cent of our operating costs. Generating electricity from solar energy, such as at Boulder Bay Wastewater Treatment Works (pictured), is one of a number of opportunities available that can help to reduce these costs, and reduce carbon emissions.

In 2020, we installed a 100 kilowatt trial system at Branxton Wastewater Treatment Works (WWTW), made up of both roof and ground mounted solar panels (see image below).

We applied what we learnt from this trial to roll out larger solar projects across our sites.

What we’ve done

About 1.2 megawatts of solar has now been installed and is generating power at:

  • Morpeth WWTW
  • Kurri Kurri WWTW
  • Raymond Terrace WWTW
  • Boulder Bay WWTW
  • Paxton WWTW
  • Tarro works depot.

What we’re doing now

We’re currently delivering the second stage of the project by installing over one megawatt of solar at:

  • Branxton WWTW (expansion)
  • Cessnock WWTW
  • Shortland WWTW.

What’s coming

We’re continuing to explore and assess more sites and opportunities for renewable energy generation.

One of these options is a 2.5 megawatt installation at our Balickera Pump station site at Italia Road, Balickera.

This system will help power a number of critical Hunter Water assets on our own private high voltage network, such as the Balickera Pump Station, Grahamstown Water Treatment Plant, George Schroder Pump Station and the Tomago Water Pump Station.

The project involves installing between 4,500-5,000 ground-mounted solar panels over about three hectares of open space adjacent to Balickera Pump Station, divided into two sections with one either side of the Balickera Canal.

The existing public park will be reduced in size and relocated to the northern section of the site following completion of the solar project. We’ll be sharing the new park design with neighbouring residents before we build it.

We’ll continue to look at more opportunities to install roof and ground solar at our treatment plants and other Hunter Water sites.

We’re also exploring an option to install floating solar PV technology at a treatment plant site and learn about this exciting new technology.

Solar panels installed at Branxton Wastewater Treatment Works

Sustainable energy

A key initiative in our sustainability journey is to embrace a decarbonised future. To achieve action on climate change and maintain affordable services for our customers, we have set our carbon reduction target to be net zero by 2035.

Thirsty for more information?

Learn more about the Renewables.