Damian Wells
Chair of Zero Emissions Water and Managing Director of Coliban Water

4 October 2022


ZEW site visit to Kiamal Solar Farm, May 2022.

Twelve of Victoria’s Water Corporations are working together through the Zero Emissions Water (ZEW) joint venture to source renewable electricity and reduce their emissions.

In August the Minister for Water, Harriet Shing, officially launched the Statement of Obligations (Emissions Reduction). Each water corporation has set a net zero target that will be achieved in either 2025, 2030 or 2035. The industry as a whole must achieve net zero emissions by 2035.

ZEW was established to collectively purchase renewable energy from the Kiamal Solar Farm at Ouyen, Victoria’s largest solar farm. The facility has been in operation since January 2021, supplying ZEW members with renewable energy well below recent market prices.

The project is underpinned by a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to procure renewable electricity, with the renewable component measured by Large-Scale Generation Certificates (LGCs). Each certificate represents 1 megawatt hour (MWh) of renewable electricity that ZEW members can use to reduce their grid-based emissions.

Under the PPA, the price for LGCs is much lower than the current market price, which is projected to remain high. This means members are getting a good deal on LGCs.

The deal includes a Contract for Difference that sets electricity prices with Kiamal Solar Farm. The recent energy crisis has seen electricity prices skyrocket, and the PPA has provided protection against these elevated prices.

The ZEW contract continues to provide financial benefits for its members, helping to keep downward pressure on customer bills and contribute to decarbonisation of the water sector.

In May, Directors and other key ZEW personnel visited Kiamal Solar Farm. This site visit was an excellent opportunity to see the solar farm in action and get a better appreciation of the size and operations of the farm, which is approximately three times the size of Melbourne’s CBD.


Photo shows an ariel view of Melbourne’s CBD and Kiamal Solar Farm in the same scale

ZEW looks forward to continuing to realise benefits for its members as they work together to achieve net zero emissions across the water sector.

Quotes attributable to ZEW Chair Damian Wells

“ZEW is playing an important role for its member water corporations in supporting them to pursue their ambitious net zero targets.”

“As ZEW and its Power Purchase Agreement is now well underway, it is becoming evident that these arrangements are already providing substantial benefits to member water corporations. We look forward to that benefits realisation continuing out to 2030.”