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Geoff Howard (MP) and Central Highlands Water Chair, Jeremy Johnson inspect the new hydro plant at Lal Lal. Photo – Damien Wieland
Geoff Howard (MP) and Central Highlands Water Chair, Jeremy Johnson inspect the new hydro plant at Lal Lal. Photo – Damien Wieland

By Kate Taylor

A mini hydro station at Lal Lal Reservoir is now up and running.

In the absence of the state water minister, Member for Buninyong Geoff Howard made the announcement of the project’s completion at a Mt Egerton gathering.

The innovative mini hydro-electric generator at the reservoir is jointly funded by the State Government, Central Highlands Water, and Barwon Water.

The overall project cost was $850,000, with the State Government contributing $500,000 and Central Highlands Water and Barwon Water both contributing $175,000.

Construction of the mini hydro station commenced in May 2016 with the project to generate clean energy from water releases at the reservoir. The renewable energy generated will power existing infrastructure at the reservoir and provide additional green energy for the grid.

It is anticipated that the hydro station will produce up to 526MW of electricity – enough to power approximately 80 homes.

“It’s fantastic to see this mini hydro station completed to generate clean energy from environmental water releases at the reservoir into the Moorabool River,” Mr Howard said.

Jeremy Johnson, Chair of CHW said they are committed to developing and implementing energy and financial savings across its network of asset operations.

“We anticipate, the mini hydro station will cut CO2 emissions by approximately 500 tonnes per year,” he said.