Australia's largest floating solar array is being installed in Warrnambool under a $1.4 million Wannon Water plan to save money on its power bills and lower emissions.
More than 1200 of the latest bi-facial solar panels will be mounted on top of pontoons and floated on the surface of the water at the Brierly Basin off Moore Street.
Brierly Basin uses a large amount of electricity to pump water to the Warrnambool Water Treatment Plant, and the solar panels are designed to harvest light from both sides to increase the system's efficiency and make them easier to maintain.
Wannon Water chair Jacinta Ermacora said the project was part of its commitment to keep water prices as low as possible.
Minister for Water Harriet Shing officially announced the project on Thursday and said it would significantly reduce power costs and reduce emissions by more than 600 tonnes per year.
The 500-kilowatt floating array will be Wannon Water's largest system and follows the installation of a 250- kilowatt system at the Warrnambool Water Treatment Plant and two 100-kilowatt systems at the Hamilton Water Treatment Plant and at the Gateway Road corporate office.
More than 400 floating solar PV systems have been installed worldwide but this will be the first of its type for the Australian water sector.
Ms Shing said as the state continued to slash emissions at the rate of almost double the target and the water sector was leading the way.
She also announced a $250,000 grant for the Camperdown Regional Livestock Exchange for a rainwater capture and re-use project which is expected to cost about $1.3 million.
As part of the project, a roof will be installed over the saleyards that will capture stormwater in two 375,000-litre storage tanks.
This project will harvest around 3.5 megalitres of rainwater annually which will be used within the livestock exchange and truck wash in replacement of their potable water supply.
Ms Shing said by adopting an integrated water management approach that champions collaboration, we would continue to find smarter ways to manage our water supplies.
"This project will allow Camperdown livestock exchange to save money on its water bills and capture precious stormwater for productive use, while ensuring our waterways stay healthy for people, plants and animals," she said.
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