June 18, 2015


The Andrews Government has today announced $500,000 for an innovative mini hydro electric generator at Lal Lal Reservoir, south east of Ballarat.

Member for Buninyong Geoff Howard said the mini hydro station will generate clean energy from environmental water releases at the reservoir into the Moorabool River, which will be used to power existing infrastructure at the site.

The project will produce up to 526 megawatt hours of electricity – enough to power approximately 80 homes. This will result in a saving of more than 500 tonnes of carbon equivalent greenhouse gas emissions a year, and reduce the water authorities’ running costs by approximately $85,000 a year – delivering efficiency throughout the region’s water network.

Central Highlands Water and Barwon Water have each contributed $100,000 towards the project, which is the latest renewable energy investment for the water corporations.

Recent investment in renewable projects across the region includes:

  • the installation of Solar Reservoir Mixers at Evansford and Sugar Loaf Reservoirs
  • the installation of additional telemetry controls on the Goldfields Superpipe to optimise pump efficiency and manage peak demand energy use
  • a recently installed 100 kWh solar panel system. This will generate up to 18 percent of the Learmonth Road office and depot electricity demand.

Quotes attributable to Member for Buninyong, Geoff Howard

“This project demonstrates the Andrews Labor Government’s commitment to re-establishing leadership on climate change.”

This project is a fantastic example of thinking outside of the square with small scale solutions delivering cleaner energy outcomes for our communities.”

This project could potentially be replicated at low cost across the State to deliver large scale outcomes for clean energy, water management and climate adaptation.”

Quotes attributable to Central Highlands Water Chair, Jeremy Johnson

“For more than 40 years Central Highlands Water and Barwon Water have partnered in the management of the Lal Lal Reservoir, and we welcome this announcement of State funding for the innovative mini hydro electric generator.”

“Since 2008, Central Highlands Water has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 38 percent. With the support of the State Government this project will provide further reductions in energy use and greenhouse gases.”

“Both water corporations continue to actively pursue greener initiatives by exploring ways to improve the productivity and efficiencies across our supply systems.”

Quotes attributable to Barwon Water Managing Director, Joe Adamski

“In 2012, Barwon Water adopted an emissions reduction target of 5 per cent of 2004/05 levels. This was achieved in 2012/13 and surpassed in 2013/14, with emissions 26 per cent lower than 2004/05 levels.”

“This partnership project is consistent with Barwon Water’s commitment to environmental sustainability and we will continue to pursue further renewable energy initiatives like the mini-hydro generator.”