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Water corporations and universities partner to save energy

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Water corporations and universities partner to save energy

Gippsland Water is part of an innovative project aimed to save energy and reduce carbon emissions by using power intelligently.

Gippsland Water has partnered with GWMWater, Centre for New Energy Technologies (C4NET), and researchers at Federation University and RMIT University to explore smarter ways to use electricity.

Acting managing director Simon Aquilina said the results of this study could help Gippsland Water to save money on power bills and further reduce its carbon emissions.

“This project builds on the work we’ve been doing to install solar panels at several of our facilities in the past few years,” Mr Aquilina said.

“If the results show promise, this research can then be put into practice to result in real benefits for us and our customers.”

The INFLEXION project involves tracking energy use at water and wastewater treatment plants and pump stations and developing an operating schedule that reduces energy use during peak demand periods, lead researcher Dr. Rakibuzzaman Shah from Federation University explained.

“For instance, if you could make sure a pump station only operates during off-peak hours when electricity rates are lower, this will save money on the water corporation’s power bill,” Dr Shah said.

“It could also be scheduled to operate only when renewable energies, such as solar power systems, are powering the site.

“Another part of this project is to enable water corporations to feed electricity back into the grid from their use of renewable energies and be paid for that, partially offsetting their energy costs.”

“It is the leadership of innovative entities such as Gippsland Water and GWMWater to engage in such research that will help deliver benefits for consumers, asset managers and the environment through the energy transition upon us” added James Seymour, CEO of C4NET.

The project will also help both water corporations to reduce their carbon emissions, as part of their commitment to the Victorian Government’s target of net zero emissions by 2050.

The INFLEXION project is funded by C4NET, GWMWater and Gippsland Water.

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Gippsland Water supplies fresh clean drinking water to more than 70,000 customers, and wastewater services to more than 63,000 customers across an area of more than 5,000 square kilometres. It maintains a $1 billion infrastructure network, which includes more than 2,000 kilometres of water mains, 15 water treatment plants, over 1,700 kilometres of sewer mains and 14 wastewater treatment plants.

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