It all started with the question:

“How could the water sector work together
to reduce energy costs and emissions?”

About Zero Emissions Water

Zero Emissions Water (ZEW) came to life through the Intelligent Water Networks (IWN) program, which is a partnership between:

  • VicWater
  • 18 Victorian water corporations, and
  • Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

The IWN investigates new technologies and innovations to meet common challenges in a more efficient manner.

The IWN working group for Energy and Emissions met in 2016 and posed the question “How could the Water Sector work together to reduce energy costs and emissions?”

The answer was to initiate the Large-Scale Renewable project which led to:

  1. An options assessment on ways to reduce energy costs and emissions that recommended water corporations aggregate their renewable energy requirements to access the wholesale generation market
  2. A feasibility study on how best to structure a direct purchase from a renewable energy generator
  3. An expression of interest to sound out market opportunities and shortlist renewable energy projects and developers
  4. A final tender process with the shortlisted developers to contract directly with a renewable power station
The outcome of the IWN Large-Scale Renewable project is that from October this year, 13 participating water corporations will purchase solar power together from the Kiamal Solar Farm in north-west Victoria under a new umbrella organisation called Zero Emissions Water (ZEW).

Purchasing as one large organisation means the water corporations will procure energy at a cheaper rate compared to going it alone. The expected savings from this deal will help water corporations to offset rising energy costs, which in turn will help to keep customer bills down.

The ZEW partnership demonstrates that Victorian water corporations are leading the way to reduce operational costs and emissions. The innovative structure of this deal is the first of its kind in Australia and is a major step forward towards the sector achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.


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