Melbourne Water will soon commence construction of a new solar farm at the Eastern Treatment Plant in Bangholme. The 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 electricity required each year to run the plant. The proposed solar farm will produce another 22%, increasing on-site generation to 52%.
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.
In 2020, we completed the tender application review process. The Request for Tender also sought 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, however the ETP farm has ben approved and is further developed in its design.
- February 2019 – early 2020: Soil pit (solar site preparation) construction works, complete
- July 2020: Request for Tender application process, complete
- Mid–late 2020: Contract awarded to Beon Energy Solutions
- Early 2021: Solar farm construction to commence
Melbourne Water will continue to provide updates as the project progresses.
Find out what else we're doing to reduce our environmental impact as we move towards net zero carbon emissions.