SA Water Project Zero

Morgan to Whyalla Pipeline Harnesses Solar Power

The Morgan to Whyalla Pipeline in South Australia is set to receive more than 19,000 solar panels as SA Water continues on its path to achieving a zero-cost energy future.

Civil works are underway to install 7.5MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) cells on the pipeline’s four pump stations at Morgan, Mount Mary, Geranium Plains and Robertstown that along the 350km pipeline that transports treated, high-quality drinking water to customers between the River Murray and Upper Spencer gulf.

SA Water’s Acting Chief Executive, Mark Gobbie, said the panels – located adjacent to the pump station – will be installed on a racking system, allowing them to pivot from east to west and capture as much sunlight as possible.

“The DC voltage captured by the panels is converted into high-voltage AC energy, where it travels underground to a connection point for use at the pump station,” Mr Gobbie said.

“Delivering water from our Morgan Water Treatment Plant through to customers in the Barossa, Mid-North and Spencer Gulf requires a significant amount of power, so the energy generated at this site will help reduce its overall draw from the energy grid without compromising on performance.

“This is the first of four solar arrays to be installed at pumping stations along the pipeline, with a further 15,000 solar panels also soon to be catching the sun’s rays at the fourth pump station at Robertstown.”

SA Water has engaged South Australian-based company Enerven on a $304 million framework contract to deliver solar and battery storage infrastructure at a number of SA Water sites across the state.

One of the largest electricity users in the state, SA Water’s 2018-19 water and wastewater pumping and treatment operations required around 520GW hours of power, totalling in excess of $80 million.

“Increasing our renewable energy generation will help sustainably reduce operating expenses in our network and allows us to pass on the savings we achieve to our customers,” Mr Gobbie said.

“There will be times when we need to draw electricity from the grid, but this project allows us to store and sell energy at other times while protecting our business from the volatility of the electricity spot market.”

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SA Water's Zero Cost Energy Future

Enerven and SA Water are continuing to work towards Zero Cost Energy Future

The Customer 

SA Water provide world-class water services to over 1.7 million customers across the state, including water sourcing, treatment and supply, sewage removal from homes and businesses, and sewage treatment and recycling. It is an immensely energy intensive industry, with SA Water’s 18/19 energy bill coming in at $80 million.  

SA Water have always had a proactive approach to energy reduction and reducing their environmental footprint. They have developed an ambitious program of work that will see the energy they generate and export to the market off-set the cost of the electricity they draw from the grid and network charges, to achieve a zero-net outcome. The program is aptly named Zero Cost Energy Future. Sustainably reducing operational expenses, such as electricity, will enable SA Water to keep water service charges as low and stable as possible for their customers.

The Opportunity 

There are seven initiatives as part of the Zero Cost Energy Future program and Enerven are working on the Solar PV and Energy Storage piece; delivering the infrastructure that will bring SA Water closer to their overarching goal. As part of the project Enerven will be installing 242GWh of solar generation and 35MWh of storage across a number of SA Water’s sites around both metropolitan and regional South Australia.

As energy specialists, the team at Enerven has the capabilities to develop solar and storage solutions that provide the most efficient, reliable, and cost-effective energy supply for our customers. This includes all elements of design, engineering, procurement, construction, maintenance and operation. We have access to a significant resource pool, covering all disciplines required for complex technical projects. Our dedicated team has the skills and experience to collaborate with SA Water and deliver a bespoke solution that meets their needs.

The Solution

The next phase of the project will involve the design, procurement, construction and commissioning of approximately 154MW of roof and ground mount solar panels and 34MWh of storage. This will be rolled out across approximately 80 SA Water locations in both metropolitan and regional South Australia.

It is expected that over 250 local jobs will be supported through our engagement with SA Water to deliver this project. Enerven’s operations span the state of South Australia and its heritage as a subsidiary of SA Power Networks has fostered strong relationships with regional businesses and communities. Enerven’s program office will consist of local employees, new and current, as we draw upon the support of South Australian metropolitan and regional businesses to deliver site establishment and construction works across civil and electrical disciplines.

“We are thrilled to have been awarded this contract, and to be continuing work on this important project with SA Water,” said Enerven General Manager Richard Amato.

“Like Enerven, SA Water has a long history in South Australia and cares about its long-term future,” he said.

“To help SA Water on its way to a more sustainable future on the first phase of this project has been a real privilege, so we’re extremely proud to have the opportunity to continue that work in the next phase.

“From the design and the determination of the technical requirements to the procurement of equipment and project construction, we have been able to deliver SA Water an innovative one-stop solution for this project.”

Enerven’s vision for our customers is “Connecting you with tomorrow” and this project is another example of how we are helping our customers to achieve this through the delivery of complex and innovative solutions. Enerven has demonstrated capability and systems to deliver large projects with multiple locations across the state and to tight timeframes, with experience on projects such as the nbn rollout, Lincoln Gap Wind Farm and the Bungala Solar Farm. We will be drawing heavily on our extensive project management skills to deliver this complex and innovative solution for SA Water.

Enerven has already completed the first phase of the project, installing just over 4MW of ground mount solar at three of SA Water’s largest facilities, which is due to be completed early 2019.


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Last modified: August 31, 2020 10:06 AM

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