AWMA LayFlat gates at the Muggabah and Merrimajeel river regulator sites are now powered by two 110 watt solar power systems. The new solar powered sites, located near Booligal in southern NSW, were installed as part of an ongoing strategy to improve the corporation’s environmental performance and reduce operating costs.
The AWMA LayFlat gates are both 3m wide x 2m high controlled under electric actuation, and designed to achieve operational efficiency and environmental gain, by better controlling flows down the Merrimajeel and Muggabah Creeks.
State Water project manager Janaka Weeraratne said the Muggabah and Merrimajeel sites were of particular environmental significance. “The Muggabah and Merrimajeel Creeks are listed on the Register of National Estate due to the Booligal Wetlands and Little Gum Swamp which provide high value bird breeding areas,” Mr Weeraratne said. “State Water considered the environmental significance of the sites during installation of the AWMA regulators and again during the solar power installation with precautions taken not to obstruct fish passage and bird breeding events at these important sites.” “Through implementing our energy management plan along with programs such as the Rivers Environmental Restoration Program (RERP) we can ensure rivers are managed in a sustainable manner and flows are delivered with optimum efficiency.”
The RERP is jointly funded by the NSW Government and the Australian Government’s Water for the Future – Water Smart Australia Program. RERP aims to arrest the decline of wetlands through water recovery and effective management of environmental water, and funded the construction of the Muggabah and Merrimajeel regulators.
State Water is now planning solar power installations for weirs at Warren, Booberoi, Gonowila, Torriganny and Yallakool and the North Marsh Bypass Channel regulator.