Airport water treatment plant powered by solar

Airport water treatment plant powered by solar

Sustainability Matters, 13 November 2020

Environmental services provider Enviropacific has completed construction of an innovative water treatment facility at Melbourne Airport to tackle per- and poly-fluorinated alkyl substance (PFAS) contamination. Powered by solar energy, the facility will allow PFAS-impacted soils generated from onsite projects to be safely managed and stored for future reuse.

Designed, built and operated by Enviropacific, the PFAS Water Treatment Plant will enable the airport to treat water runoff from onsite projects. The treated water can be reused for dust suppression, irrigation and maintenance activities across the airport estate.

Enviropacific CEO David Tucker said the project is significant.

“Cleaning up legacy issues anywhere is important, but this was a high-profile project, given its location and purpose. But what makes it more unique is that this is first time we have powered a water treatment plant of this size using 100% solar,” he said.

The plant uses 252 395 W Canadian solar panels with 140 kW battery storage to create the necessary power to ensure the system can operate off-grid.

Project Director Tom O’Callaghan said the solar option has resulted in significant time and cost savings.

“This has been a great initiative — it has proved to be the most cost-effective energy delivery option for the project, while also adding the obvious environmental benefits.

“So far, in the first five weeks of operation, we have treated 860,000 litres of PFAS-contaminated water and slurry,” O’Callaghan said.

The solar array complements two others at Melbourne Airport and is another example of the airport’s commitment to minimise carbon emissions.