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Melbourne Water opens new hydroelectricity plant at St Albans Reservoir.

A new 400kW hydroelectricity plant is powering Melbourne Water's operations at St Albans Reservoir, ultimately helping to provide clean, low-cost energy and reduce cost of living pressures for Victorians. 

The St Albans plant is Melbourne Water's 16th hydroelectric infrastructure asset. It joins the recently completed 315kW Upper Yarra, Yarra Valley Conduit hydroelectricity plant. A 990kW hydropower plant at O'Shannassy Reservoir is about to begin construction and will be completed in 2025. 

Ian Royston, Melbourne Water Technical Specialist says, “Our hydroelectric power stations harness a natural, sustainable and reliable source of energy, rather than letting it go to waste. 

St Albans mini hydroelectricity

“Flow through the St Albans plant is 55 megalitres per day, that’s equivalent to almost 23 Olympic-sized swimming pools and spins the turbine at about 1350 revolutions per minute.” 

Hydropower, or hydroelectric power, is the world's oldest form of renewable energy and the largest renewable source of electricity. Melbourne Water generates hydroelectricity throughout our water supply network, playing our role in helping to decarbonise the Victorian electricity grid. 

Using gravity, water moves from major storage reservoirs at higher ground to smaller, lower reservoirs. As water approaches through the pipelines, we channel this pressure through hydroelectric turbines. 

The turbine blades rotate a shaft, which drives an electrical generator converting the motion into electricity. The electricity is used on site to power the reservoir’s operations and excess is fed back into the power grid, reducing operating and customer costs. 

At Melbourne Water, we’re continuing to take action on climate change to protect the natural resources that sustain us. That’s why increasing renewable energy generation is a key priority – so Melbourne remains a great place to live for generations to come.  

We will continue to reduce our emissions as much as we can, across every area of our business as we strive towards Net Zero.   


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