Funding for innovative local government waste to energy project


Hepburn Shire Council has been awarded $650,000 by the Victorian Government to implement the first stage of an innovative waste to energy system.

In the first stage of the $2.4 million project, Hepburn Shire will divert more than 2,000 tonnes of food waste from landfill sites each year – leading to a $280,000 reduction in annual waste disposal costs.

The first stage of the project is expected to be complete by 2020.

The second stage of the project will investigate injecting the generated methane directly into the gas network.

The funding is part of the second round of the Government’s $20 million New Energy Jobs Fund grants.

The Fund allows for grants of between $20,000 and $1 million to support new energy technology projects that support the uptake of renewable energy, reduce emissions, and assist community groups to develop their own projects.

More than 50 applications were received in round two of the New Energy Jobs Fund, resulting in 21 successful projects receiving a total of $6.7 million in grants.

For more information on the Fund visit: http://www.business.vic.gov.au/support-for-your-business/future-industries/new-energy-technologies.

Interest in the potential of converting food waste to energy with the secondary benefit of avoiding methane emissions from rotting food is growing in Australia and globally.

Earlier this year, a research project between Sydney Water and the University of Wollongong was announced which will trial adding food waste to sewage at its Shellharbour Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The first stage of the waste-to-energy project is turning waste from the production of drinks - in particular beer, wine and soft drink waste - into additional energy through a co-digestion process.

The process involves blending the waste with sewage and the mixture is then converted into methane gas through anaerobic co-digestion. The methane generated is then used as fuel to heat an anaerobic digester and produce electricity to power the plant. The process occurs in a contained system to eliminate odours.

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