Melbourne Water is underway with a Request for Tender to develop a new solar farm at the Eastern Treatment Plant in Bangholme. The proposed solar farm is one of the many ways we're adapting our operations to prepare for a changing climate, reducing our own carbon emissions and generating more renewable energy.
The Eastern Treatment Plant was opened in 1975 to serve Melbourne's growing population. The plant sits on 1,100 hectares and treats about 330 million litres of sewage a day – about 40% of Melbourne’s total sewage.
The plant already includes a biogas facility that generates approximately 30% of the energy required each year to run the plant. The proposed solar farm will produce enough energy to help meet up to 40% of the plant's power needs.
Why this project is important
Along with hydropower and bioelectricity, solar is another exciting opportunity to expand Melbourne Water’s portfolio of renewable energy generation. This project will take us another step closer to our pledge, which is to halve our emissions by 2025 and explore a path to reduce them to net zero by 2030.
What’s happening and when
The solar farm is planned to be located close to our Eastern Treatment Plant and generate renewable electricity to help meet the plant's power needs.
To prepare the site for the farm, we completed works in early 2020 in the area immediately south of Thompson Road.
We will shortly be working through the tender application review process. The Request for Tender is also seeking tender applications for proposals to establish a second solar farm. Pending planning approval, the second farm is to be located at the Winneke Water Treatment Plant in Christmas Hills. Both solar farm projects are still in the design and planning stages and the tender application review process will assist with informing design details.
- February 2019 – early 2020: Soil pit (solar site preparation) construction works, complete
- July 2020: Request for Tender application process, complete
- Mid–late 2020: Awarding contract
- Late 2020: Solar farm construction to commence
Melbourne Water will provide an update on the outcomes of the tender process when further information is available.
Find out what else we're doing to reduce our environmental impact as we move towards net zero carbon emissions.