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

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

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Managing Director Mark Williams said the results of this study could help GWMWater to save money on power bills and further reduce its carbon emissions.

“This project extends the work we have been doing to install behind the meter solar at our facilities across the region,” he said.

“If the results show promise, this research can then be put into practice to provide real benefits for us, the water industry more broadly and mostly importantly, our customers.”

The project, titled INdustrial and commercial demand FLEXing to Increase Overall beNefit (INFLEXION), involves tracking energy use at water and wastewater treatment plants and pump stations and developing a schedule for operation 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.

“They can 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 set up these water corporations in a way that they can 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. GWMWater has already reduced emissions by 17 percent since 2018/19. 

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

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