The Drouin wastewater treatment plant in West Gippsland is now home to the largest floating solar array in Australia.

Gippsland Water announced that the 350kW system features 644 individual solar panels and floats on one of the plant’s treatment lagoons.  

Acting Managing Director, Simon Aquilina, said that the solar panels were part of the organisation’s commitment to renewable energy targets.  

“These solar panels will help us reach our renewable energy target of 100 per cent by 2025 and contribute to achieving our target of net-zero greenhouse emissions by 2030. They also positively impact the wastewater treatment process by reducing evaporation. 

“Solar energy helps reduce our operating costs and puts downward pressure on customer water bills. It also helps reduce our emissions.  

“At peak capacity, the solar array can fully power the treatment plant, producing enough kilowatts to power nearly 90 homes per day.”   

Gippsland Water is undertaking several projects on the path to net-zero, with solar power a major focus.    

Last year a 1,200-kilowatt solar array was switched on at the Gippsland Water Factory in Maryvale.    

Gippsland Water said that Drouin is its eighth facility to be partially powered by solar energy.   

The floating solar panels are part of a $55 million upgrade to Drouin wastewater treatment plant.    

While the upgraded plant became operational in 2022, Gippsland Water said the floating solar panels are one of the finishing touches.     

Featured image: Floating solar panels at Gippsland Water’s Drouin wastewater treatment plant. Image credit: Gippsland Water.

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