We recognise that GMW’s emissions contribute to climate change, and that climate change is making extreme weather events, such as the devastating bushfire season of 2019/20 in our region, more likely and more intense.
That’s why GMW is taking action to reduce its carbon emissions and invest in renewable energy.
Strong action will reduce our contribution to the impacts of climate change on our region.
It will also reduce our costs and our customers’ costs while preserving our region’s competitive advantages as the world transitions to a low carbon economy.
Under Water for Victoria, the Victorian Government has set ambitious emissions reduction targets on the path to net-zero.
Victorian water corporations have committed to reducing their collective greenhouse gas emissions by 42 per cent by 2025.
In 2020-21, GMW’s emitted 10,345 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent greenhouse gas emissions.
Over three quarters of those emissions (7888 tonnes) resulted from our electricity use. Of those electricity emissions, 80 per cent (6320 tonnes) occurred due to water supply – as we pump water across our region to where it is needed.
To address these emissions, GMW has now committed to sourcing 100 per cent renewable energy for all the electricity we purchase to run our irrigation business by 2025.
This positions GMW as a leader on renewable energy and puts us in a strong position to reduce our total emissions by an estimated 85 per cent by 2025 and to net-zero by no later than 2050.
GMW is delivering planned solar projects for our Tatura office and other depots and offices, including the recently constructed Mitiamo Pump Station and Stock and Domestic Pipeline, which consists of 300km of pumped pipeline servicing landowners across roughly 58,000ha.
The Mitiamo Pump Station project involves constructing ground-mounted 99.7kW solar panels.
A 404kWh battery system will enable the pumps to run when the sun is not shining, aiming for no use of purchased power – which is also saving our customers money.
This solar and battery combination also has the potential to produce broader benefits across the network, while also confirming our commitment to reduce our carbon footprint.
Once it’s operational, the Mitiamo Pump Station solar and battery installation will generate 3900MWh of clean, renewable energy, saving almost 3200 tonnes of CO2-equivalent greenhouse gas emissions during the next 25 years.
This is equivalent to taking 62 cars off the road while generating enough clean renewable energy to power 28 homes each year.
We are also investigating the option of scheduling water supply pumping to take advantage of excess solar power available in the grid; maximising hydropower generating opportunities; and transitioning the light fleet to alternate fuelled vehicles.
Our commitment to reducing our carbon emissions is guided by our role and responsibility to our customers and community, who expect a reliable, sustainable, efficient management of our regions water supplies both now and in the future.