Sustainably reducing operational expenses like electricity will help us keep water and sewerage charges as low and stable as possible, and is one way we can contribute to easing cost of living pressures for our customers.
We are one of the state’s single largest electricity users, and in a dry 2018/19 when water consumption increased, powering our energy-intensive drinking water and wastewater pumping and treatment operations across South Australia cost $83 million.
Our zero cost energy future will be delivered through seven key initiatives. It is the cumulative effect of these seven initiatives that include demand scheduling, energy efficiency, energy storage, our own generation, and energy market levers that will position us to effectively manage our energy portfolio for the long-term.
Increasing our own generation capacity will deliver the largest leaps on our path towards a zero cost energy future. We’re investing more than $300 million to install 242 gigawatt hours (GWh) of new solar arrays at around 35 sites and 34 megawatt hours (MWh) of energy storage devices, by the end of 2020. That’s around 500,000 solar panels working together to harness the power of the sun, generating 70% of our electricity needs in an average weather and water consumption year.
The energy we generate and store on-site will reduce our reliance on expensive grid electricity and create a revenue stream from carefully timed sales back to the market.
Every step we make towards our zero cost energy future will deliver substantial operational savings for the benefit of our customers.
Significant environmental benefits will flow through our zero cost energy future.
Our installed renewable generating capacity will be equivalent to the power needs of 50,000 average South Australian homes and will assist in reducing emissions equivalent to planting seven million trees, or removing more than 32,000 cars from the road per year, every year of operation.
Importantly, our progressive leap forward will help demonstrate the way renewable generation can be integrated at utility scale, and help the global transition to a low-carbon future.
You can discover a few of our locations which will house solar arrays.