GSP-NEW: North East Water 3MW Solar Plant

GSP-NEW: North East Water 3MW Solar Plant


North East Water (NEW) are a water and sewage services provider in north-east Victoria, supplying to approximately 108,000 people across 39 towns. They operate 20 water treatment facilities and 21 wastewater treatment plants (WTP), covering an area of 20,000 square kilometres. North East Water also operate one trade waste facility and provide recycled water for both drinking and irrigation use.


This project aims to investigate the most cost-effective business strategy for the integration of a new 3MW solar plant (currently under construction) at the West Wodonga WWTP. To achieve this objective, it will be vital to undertake several sub tasks;

  • Characterise historical energy demand and pricing at the WW site (and other large energy consuming sites across the NEW business) throughout the year, identifying the influence of season and weather.
  • Determine the operational capability of shutting off, scaling back or load shifting specific operations (i.e. water pumping, aeration etc.) at these sites. This will lead to greater awareness of the ability to tailor operations for price minimisation (avoiding high price events in the NEM), engage in demand response initiatives, or conduct virtual metering of the energy generated by the solar plant.
  • Establish the pricing triggers to enable clear control the purchase/sale or virtual metering of energy across the key NEW sites. This task would require a thorough evaluation of the influence of season and weather, particularly in large areas (such as Melbourne), on NEM spot prices.


The deliverables of this project will be staged with an initial focus on data collection.

Deliverable Description Initial Timing Estimate
Commencement Workshop Collect Data from NEW

●      Historical energy prices.

●      Historical energy use by NEW including peak usage.

●      Large loads and their ability to be turned off in a partial shutdown situation.

●      Real dollar costs of shutting down individual WTP.

Milestone 1 Project Plan March
Milestone 2 Some preliminary analysis of Data

·       Historical energy prices

·       Historical energy use by NEW including peak usage.

·       Large loads and their ability to be turned off in a partial shutdown situation.

·       Real dollar costs of shutting down individual WTP.


Milestone 3 Progress report. Early June
Milestone 4 Draft Project Report. Early September
Milestone 5 Project Report. End September
A presentation on the project report. End October


This project will be managed through weekly meetings of the students () whom will seek draft approval from the Project Managers (Marcos Anastassiou, Dr Cameron Stanley and Dr Kazi Hasan) and through frequent contact with the Project Sponsor to ensure work is satisfactory.

Reporting Requirements:

There will be draft approval and/or progress reporting fortnightly to the project managers.

Assumptions and Constraints:

Energy spot price is assumed to be primarily driven by time of day and temperature across the state.

Power usage from individual WTP across NEW’s network is expected to be available, as well as data on costs associated with shutting down.

Risks and Minimisation Strategies:

Incomplete data collection resulting in inaccurate recommendations.

  • This will be minimised by collecting as much data as possible from as many sources as possible.
  • Low data resolution.
  • The highest resolution data available will be sourced to ensure accuracy.


Water Act 1989

Water Industry Act 1994

Survey of obligations and responsibilities under the Reliability and Emergency Reserve Trader (RERT) function of the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).

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