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Greening Sydney’s sewage plants

Malabar renewable options analysis


Sydney Water Corporation


Malabar, NSW

About The Project

Sydney Water is focused on minimising its impact on the environment while continuing to provide water services that sustain and enhance customers’ lifestyles into the future. As part of this, Sydney Water engaged CNF as its Owner’s Engineer to assist in developing the business case to add PV to the Malabar Sewage plant to reduce carbon emissions and minimise the overall carbon footprint. Sydney Water wanted to ensure the plant was the right size and able to deliver reliable services, while reducing costs and minimising the plant’s impact on the environment.

The analysis of the optimal PV size was complicated due to the site having three separate HV connections to the grid, each feeding aspects of the plant and each metered separately for import and export. The analysis was further complicated by the three 1.25MVA gas generators that ran independently as well as the grid restrictions, which meant that each feeder was limited to a 1.5MVA export.

The final recommended solution of approximately 400kW of PV differed substantially from Sydney Water’s original estimate of 2MW. The analysis process demonstrated that Sydney Water needed to adopt a rigorous options process and a proper definition of the project objectives to select the right sized systems for its plants.

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Major Achievements

CNF developed a cutting-edge custom analysis model to incorporate the site’s complex electrical network infrastructure. The final plant size selected met Sydney Water’s project objectives. Sydney Water has adopted the rigor used in the options analysis as a template for updating its other major energy consuming assets.

CNF was responsible for:

  • Extensive engagement with multiple stakeholders to determine the project objectives and constraints.
  • Coordinating stakeholder involvement including environmental and operational groups for the plant internal site selection.
  • Navigating multiple constraint analysis to determine the net present value (NPV) of systems with primary embedded generation and grid constraints.

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