SA Water’s journey to “net zero” electricity costs by 2020 is set to get underway, after it was announced that local outfit Enerven had been chosen to roll-out a planned 154MW of solar PV and 34MWh of energy storage across more than 70 of the utility’s sites.
SA Water said on Wednesday that the Adelaide-based Enerven – a wholly-owned subsidiary of SA Power Networks – was expected to get to work on the first lot of PV projects in the first half of this year, after winning the tender for the massive contract.
It will take the utility’s total solar generation capacity to around 160MW, adding to the 6MW of solar currently being installed across SA Water’s Glenelg, Hope Valley and Christies Beach facilities, which are due to connect to the NEM in coming months.
SA Water CEO Roch Cheroux said neutralising large operating costs like electricity – which had hit $62 million in 2017-18 – would in turn cut costs for its 1.7 million customers.
Already the utility – which manages more than 27,000km of water mains, including 9,266 km in the Adelaide metropolitan area – claims to have cut more than $3 million a year from its power bills since 2013, through initiatives including biogas and hydroelectric generation, and trading as a market participant.