Winds of change blowing as Water Corporation powers towards net zero future

  • ​Water Corporation takes significant step towards net zero by 2035 target
  • State-owned water utility secures development rights to one of WA’s largest wind farms
  • Wind generated renewable energy critical to State Government’s net zero by 2050 target
  • Renewable energy to power Perth’s desalination plants
  • The McGowan Government is taking the next significant step towards achieving its target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions after announcing Water Corporation has secured the development rights of what will be one of Western Australia’s largest renewable wind energy projects.

    The utility is among the highest electricity consumers on the South West Interconnected System (SWIS), driven by a growing reliance on desalination to produce drinking water in the face of climate change.

    In a move that will significantly reduce its emissions, Water Corporation today announced it had secured development rights for the Flat Rocks Wind Farm Stage 2 from WA-owned Moonies Hill Energy.

    Up to 24 of the project’s 200m high wind turbines are expected to generate a quarter of the total renewable energy Water Corporation needs to achieve its target of net zero emissions across all its operations by 2035.

    The project will also support the McGowan Government’s commitment to power Perth’s two existing desalination plants and the proposed Alkimos Seawater Desalination Plant with renewable energy.

    Located 30 kilometres south of Kojonup in the State’s Great Southern, Flat Rocks Wind Farm Stage 2 will export up to 100MW of renewable energy into the South West Interconnected System, with the potential to upgrade the capacity to in excess of 150MW.

    This project is part of Water Corporation’s plan to secure up to 400 megawatts of additional wind-generated renewable energy, and will generate enough clean energy to supply water to around 640,000 households for one year and offset up to 240 kilotonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

    Flat Rocks Wind Farm Stage 2 is also part of the McGowan Government’s $3.8 billion investment in green power infrastructure to decarbonise the SWIS while securing electricity supply.

    The acquisition of the development rights to Flat Rocks Wind Farm Stage 2 is aligned with the McGowan Government’s commitment to a whole-of-government greenhouse gas reduction target of 80 per cent below 2020 levels by 2030 and net zero by 2050.

    The announcement builds on Water Corporation’s significant work to reduce its carbon footprint by already sourcing 65MW of renewable wind and solar energy, installing 5,400 on-site solar panels, introducing electric and hybrid passenger vehicles, and capturing and using biogas to power wastewater treatment processes.

    As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:

    “Projects such as this are key in the transition to renewable energy and the decarbonisation of our electricity supply. 

    “Our Government is investing $3.8 billion in renewable generation and storage to create thousands of new jobs in regional WA and support our commitment to net zero emissions by 2050.”

    As stated by Water Minister Dave Kelly:

    “WA has led the world in securing public drinking water despite climate change dramatically reducing the amount of streamflow into Perth’s dams. 

    “Today’s announcement is a significant step towards our goal for every drop of water used in homes, businesses and communities across WA being supplied using renewable energy.

    “That includes powering our existing desalination plants and a future plant proposed in Alkimos, with renewable energy.

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