MINISTER for Environment, Climate Change and Water Lisa Neville joined Member for Buninyong Geoff Howard, to announce that Tamar Hydro Pty Ltd has been selected to design and build the mini hydro-electric power station at Lal Lal Reservoir, south-east of Ballarat.
The awarding of the contract to Tamar Hydro follows a detailed tender process run by Central Highlands Water after the Andrews Labor Government pledged $500,000 towards the $846,000 project last year. As joint managers of the reservoir, Central Highlands Water and Barwon Water will pay the balance of the cost of the project, which is expected to save more than 500 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions a year. The generator will produce up to 526MW of electricity – enough to power about 80 homes – which will be used to run the Lal Lal Water Treatment Plant, with any excess electricity fed back into the grid. Tamar Hydro is the largest manufacturer of hydro turbines in the Australasia/ Pacific region and has designed and built more than 200 turbines, with extensive experience in the sector over the past 30 years.
Construction of the hydro plant at Lal Lal Reservoir is due to begin in May and will be completed in late 2016.
Lal Lal Reservoir is fed by the West Moorabool River catchment and currently supplies both Ballarat and Geelong.
The reservoir is also an important part of Victoria’s water grid, which the Andrews Labor Government yesterday announced it would act to secure Ballarat’s water supply.
Ballarat and Geelong currently both have access to water in Lal Lal Reservoir. Geelong has an interconnecter which means that city will be able to access water form Melbourne’s water pool, which could allow Ballarat to access more water in the Lal Lal Reservoir as Geelong will be compensated through its interconnector with water from Melbourne’s system.