Solar Energy Powers Lobethal Sewer Network in Australia

 More than 260 solar panels are now helping to power SA Water’s wastewater operations for customers in Lobethal, as the utility progresses towards a zero cost energy future.
Solar Energy Powers Lobethal Sewer Network in Australia
Courtesy of NREL

Installed at Lobethal’s sewer pump station, the 266 ground-mounted solar photovoltaic panels will generate around 160 megawatt hours of clean, green energy every year, which is enough to power more than 25 average South Australian homes for a year.

SA Water’s Senior Manager Zero Cost Energy Future Nicola Murphy said the array will play a vital role in sustainably reducing operating costs while keeping prices low and stable for customers.

“Now constructed, energized and capturing the summer sunshine, the solar energy generated by these panels ensures the pump station can still help to deliver trusted wastewater services to our Lobethal customers while reducing the energy costs needed to do so,” Nicola said.

“The flow-on benefits also extend to limiting our carbon footprint, with this solar site providing an emissions reduction of approximately 68 tons each year of operation.

“The costs required to cater for our large-scale water and wastewater operations across South Australia reached approximately $86 million last financial year, and our focus on renewable arrays like this one at Lobethal will make a tangible difference towards managing our electricity expenses, without compromising on performance.”

SA Water’s industry-leading zero cost energy future initiative is centered around renewable energy, with up to 500,000 solar panels being installed at 33 locations across regional and metropolitan South Australia.

“More than 300,000 panels have already been positioned at our depots, pipelines, treatment plants and pump stations, and with the remaining panels due to be constructed over the coming months, we know a major part of this ambitious goal is within reach,” Nicola said.

“This initiative was designed by our people, and shows South Australians leading the way, with the smarts and skills to integrate renewable energy and storage across our existing plants, pump stations and other land holdings.”

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