In this regard, the water utility will have solar panels and battery storage installed at the Yackandandah treatment facility as part of its commitment towards reducing carbon emissions.

North East Water has issued tenders seeking the supply of a 43kW solar system and 40kW of battery storage for the project.

The trial project will be carried out by North East Water in collaboration with Intelligent Water Networks, a water technology company.

According to North East Water operations executive John Day, the renewable trial will assess the viability of energy storage at water treatment facilities for all the water utilities in Australia.

Day added: “North East Water has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2050 and has started the journey to eliminate consumption of fossil fuels by generating and storing electricity from renewable sources while also ensuring energy reliability during extreme weather events.

“Depending on the success of the research and delivery trial, we could expand the renewables project to other areas across the North East.

“The entire water industry will also be taking a close look at project, which may lead to a widespread change to power consumption within the sector.”

Day also revealed that North East Water will be working closely with energy fund Totally Renewable Yackandandah in the project that aims to supply entire town with 100% renewable energy by 2022.

The plan of the partners is to drive the Victorian town of Yackandandah towards being off-grid by the next five years.

Earlier in the month, North East Water had commissioned a new $6.4m water treatment plant in Bright, Victoria.