We’re building a new mini-hydro electricity plant at our St Albans Reservoir site. The mini power station will convert energy from the pressure and flow of water going into the reservoir to generate electricity. This electricity will be fed back into the power grid and used to reduce our carbon footprint and operating costs.
Why this project is important
We’re taking action on climate change to continue providing safe and reliable water services to help enhance life and liveability, for all Melburnians, now and into the future. We have pledged to halve our carbon emissions by 2025 and we are on a path to reducing them to net zero by 2030.
Melbourne Water generates hydro-electricity throughout our water supply network, doing our bit to help to decarbonise the Victorian electricity grid. We currently have 14 mini-hydro power stations in operation at our water supply reservoirs, and we’ll be building three more between 2020 and 2022, including one at St Albans Reservoir which started in October 2020.
The mini-hydro stations work by converting energy from the pressure and flow of water going into our water supply network to generate electricity. This electricity is then fed back into the power grid and used to reduce our operating costs. These small power stations harness a natural, sustainable and reliable source of energy, rather than letting this energy go to waste.
Construction of the mini-hydro power station at St Albans Reservoir will be completed in four stages:
- The power generating component is constructed off-site, within a transportable building (about the size of a shipping container).
- A purpose-built concrete base and pipeline connections to the existing water supply pipes are constructed at the reservoir site.
- The transportable building is taken to site, placed on the concrete base and connected to the existing water and power supply infrastructure.
- After construction is complete, the new mini-hydro electricity plant will be tested and commissioned prior to becoming operational.
We’re continuing to expand our network of mini-hydros. Our new mini-hydro power station at St Albans Reservoir is in its proof of performance stage and will be completed in mid 2023. New mini-hydros are in construction at Upper Yarra reservoir (schedule for completion late 2023) and O’Shannassy Reservoir (2024).
What to expect
While we will make every effort to ensure inconveniences are kept to a minimum, we do anticipate that there will be some localised impacts during construction, including:
- Noise from trucks and other vehicles, reversing beepers, machinery and other equipment.
- Some minor earthworks, including removal of excess soil, which may cause some noise and dust. There may also be some dust as the concrete base is constructed.
- An increase in vehicle movements off Taylors Road to access the works zone.
Once the mini-hydro power station is operational, it will be required to comply with strict noise control standards and EPA requirements.
All of our mini-hydro electricity plants are fully remote-controlled, operational from off site, and seamlessly integrated into Melbourne Water’s supply system to ensure uninterrupted operation.
Find out more
Learn more about hydropower generation and how it benefits Melbourne.