Brierly Basin Floating Solar Array

An artist's impression of what the panels will look like.

Warrnambool's Brierly Basin will soon host Australia’s largest floating solar array as part of our plan to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2030.

The $1.4 million project is expected to have a net-positive value of more than $500,000 by significantly reducing power costs and saving more than 600 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year.

More than 400 floating solar PV systems have been installed across the globe, but this will be the first of its type for the Australian water sector.

About the project

Brierly Basin is a raw water storage that holds water sourced from the Otways and from our roof water harvesting scheme.

We use a large amount of electricity as water is pumped to the Warrnambool Water Treatment Plant where it is disinfected and then supplied to customers, so on-site solar energy is a very attractive alternative.

Floating solar at the basin is an efficient option because of the large area of open water available.

More than 1,200 of the latest bi-facial solar panels will be mounted on top of pontoons and floated on the surface of the water. The pontoons will be fixed to the base using special cables and submerged concrete anchors.

The panels are designed to harvest light from both sides, increasing the system’s efficiency and making them easier to maintain.

Design work for the project is complete and much of the electrical work is in place onsite, ready for connection once the pontoons and solar panels are installed. This next installation phase is about to begin, with the system expected to be online by mid-2023.

Read the full Press Release from Wannon Water here.