Nowra's first large-scale waste to energy biogas plant has taken another step forward thanks to Innovating Energy and their joint venture with world leaders in waste to energy technology Botres Global and leading biogas tank manufacturer Schumann Tanks.
The joint venture was announced on February 24 at a packed meeting of supportive Nowra dairy farmers who have signed up to be part of the project.
Botres Global business development director Robert Kolli joined the meeting via Zoom.
"Botres Global is very excited about the joint venture with Innovating Energy and are looking forward to working with the farmer group to develop a world class Biogas facility," Mr Kolli said.
Dairy farmers were told that Nowra will be the first of a number of renewable waste to energy projects to be developed by the joint venture throughout Australia and New Zealand, which will be fueled by cow manure and other organic wastes.
"The projects will significantly improve the dairy farming environment by cleaning up waterways and contributing to reducing CO2 emissions for the dairy farms who are constantly striving for solutions to reduce farm pollution," Innovating Energy's managing director David Ryan said.
The Biogas Plant is to be built on the Terara Sewage Treatment Plant site owned by Shoalhaven Water and Shoalhaven Council and is unique in that the manure from each dairy farm in the group will be aggregated to feed and operate the plant and the electricity produced will be shared between the group of dairies and Shoalhaven Council, with the excess being sold to retail customers.
"This is a fantastic project not just for our Shoalhaven but the region at large," Shoalhaven Mayor Amanda Findley said.
"I'm excited to see this innovative technology being deployed in our prime dairy area and it is in good company with the award-winning recycled water scheme (REMS).
"Congratulations to our dairy farmers of Terara and beyond who have championed this project and the REMS scheme, they are forward thinking and we are proud of your contribution to the Shoalhaven.
"This really is technology that we need to reduce waste and carbon pollution."
The group of local dairy farmers are the project's biggest supporters and have said that the biogas plant will provide significant cost benefits and energy savings for their dairies and will greatly assist in helping to deal with manure management on each farm.
Rising energy costs are a major consideration in operating dairy farms, particularly the costs associated with keeping milk chilled at the required temperature prior to pick up by processors, so generating electricity from their own farms will be a great benefit.
Terara dairy farmer Tim Cochrane said the dairy farmers were optimistically waiting for this project to get up and digesting waste.
"The signing of the joint venture is another step in seeing this project progress," Mr Cochrane said.
"On-farm logistics will need to be worked through with Innovating Energy as the project progresses.
"Having Shoalhaven City Council on board is very important with the biogas plant being built on their land."
The NSW government appointed Dairy Advocate, Ian Zandstra, whose dairy farm is included in the group, commended those who had helped get the project off the ground.
"We are delighted with the federal government's support for the project in particular the Minister for Energy Angus Taylor, Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud and Lyne MP Dr David Gillespie," Mr Zandstra said.
"By using cow manure to run the biogas plant it will address the challenges of manure storage and run-off and allow timely spreading of nutrient rich organic fertiliser from the biogas process, which is great news for the local environment."
The biogas plant will be built over a 12 to 14 month period with completion expected in early 2022.
The plant will feature the very latest in biogas technology provided by Botres Global and Schumann Tanks producing clean, green energy 24/7 with zero emissions.
Sign up below to receive our e-newsletter delivered fresh to your email in-box twice a week.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.