Innovation and sound investment strategies mean SA Water’s largest wastewater treatment plant at Bolivar is now 87 per cent energy self-sufficient.
The renewable electricity generated is enough to power 4000 houses a year.
SA Water’s Chief Executive Roch Cheroux said this had been achieved through an improvement in biogas power generation – a by-product of the sewage treatment process – from the Bolivar plant.
"Bolivar is our largest plant and treats around 150 million litres of sewage a day, so it’s important we are managing its energy use efficiently," Roch said.
"We’ve invested about $26 million to install and connect new infrastructure at Bolivar to make the best use of biogas to produce renewable electricity and heat.
"This sustained focus on generating renewable energy is reducing our carbon footprint, improving operational efficiencies, contributing to a healthier environment and ultimately helping with our customers’ cost of living."
SA Water is also taking large strides in energy efficiency across its other sites.
"At the Glenelg Wastewater Treatment Plant, we have increased renewable energy self-sufficiency from 55 per cent to over 80 per cent in the past five years," Roch said.
"One of the ways we achieved this was adding high-strength, quality organic waste products from industry to the biogas production process, that would’ve otherwise gone to landfill.
"Since 2013-14, our innovative energy management program has also helped reduce carbon emissions by 13,000 tonnes per year across our wastewater treatment sites.
"As one of the state’s largest electricity users, it’s important to manage our energy efficiently and identify opportunities that allow us to enhance our sustainability.
"We will continue to invest in more opportunities to generate renewable energy from our water and sewerage operations, benefiting the environment and our customers."
In recognition of minimising its carbon footprint, SA Water was recently named a finalist in the Premier’s 2016 Climate Change Council SA Climate Leaders Awards.
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