• 12-month solar trial has started to power Broome's borefield
  • Trial will harness renewable energy and reduce running costs 

The Liberal National Government has started a 12-month trial using hybrid solar-diesel power to deliver drinking water from its borefield to Broome.

 Water Minister Mia Davies said the trial was a Western Australian-first and would make the most of Broome's abundant sunshine.

 "If the trial is a success, this innovative system could lead to more water around the State being delivered using clean solar power," Ms Davies said.

 A hybrid system has been installed to power the bore pump, using solar energy during the day and storing excess solar energy in batteries for use in the evening and in times of low light.  The pump is also equipped with a diesel generator that can be used when needed.

 The Minister, who inspected the borefield during a recent visit to Broome, said the hybrid-powered bore would use enough solar energy to pump 1.5 million litres of water per day through to Broome's town water supply scheme.

 "If the trial is successful this would result in opportunities to find significant energy savings in remote locations where mains power is not available, and contribute to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions," she said.

 "The State Government, through the Water Corporation, is continually looking at ways of increasing the use of renewable energy wherever it can to deliver services in a way that reduces the impact on the environment."

The solar panel trial began in August.

Fact File

  • The Broome borefield was expanded last year with three new production bores to increase the town's water supply from 5.2 billion litres to 6.1 billion litres per year. This work was completed in mid-2015
  • The solar trial and borefield expansion was a $6.1 million investment in Broome's water supply scheme. The solar trial component of this investment is $1 million
  • The Broome water supply scheme provides drinking water to about 17,000 properties in the town
  • The Water Corporation has invested more than $32 million in the past five years to upgrade Broome's water supply 

Media Enquiries:

Contact: Minister's office - 6552 5500