A unique machine that can help turn trash into treasure has touched down in NSW's Shoalhaven region.
The Nuhn self-propelled Alley Vac can vacuum up manure from milking sheds and feed pads in a single pass.
Its large blades are able to follow the contours of uneven ground and waste is collected using dual Magnum 400 vacuum pumps then stored in a 13,250 litre tank.
Once full it can be quickly unloaded with its full-length auger that has a 12-inch unload valve.
The Alley Vac has a 205 kilowatt (275 horsepower) 7.1 litre T4 Cat engine and a tight turning circle thanks to its short wheelbase and four-wheel steer.
The Canadian-built machine is widely used in North America and Europe however this is the first of its kind to be used in Australia.
Nicknamed the Poover, the machine will collect manure from 19 dairies in the Nowra district, which will be used to generate electricity.
The manure will be supplied to Innovating Energy's yet to be built Nowra Bioenergy Facility.
It will be mixed with food and organic waste from other businesses in the area such as supermarkets and pubs to create biogas.
Innovating Energy founder Philip Horan said the Alley Vac was an integral part of its effluent management system and gives 19 dairy farmers the technology they need to collect as much manure as possible from their farms.
"The dairy farmers feel strongly about their environmental responsibilities and were impressed by the proposed facility's green credentials and the benefits of the biogas plant for the community," Mr Horan said.
"One of the things the farmers really understood about this project, is that it'll greatly contribute to an environmental clean-up of their farms. They'll drastically reduce their CO2 emissions and wastewater pollution."
The machine was purchased with a $455,000 grant from the Coles Nurture Fund.
Coles Own Brand, quality and responsible sourcing general manager Charlotte Rhodes said the company was delighted to fund the purchase of the Alley Vac.
"At Coles we want to help to Australian farmers and food producers to drive sustainability and innovation, so when we heard about Innovating Energy's plan to collect, transport and convert dairy effluent into electricity, we knew it was something we wanted to support with a grant from the Coles Nurture Fund," Ms Rhodes said.
If approved, Innovating Energy's $17 million facility will be built at the former Nowra Wastewater Treatment Plant site in Terara. It will be fully enclosed so no noise or odours are emitted.
Participating dairy farmers will have access to the produced power at a reduced rate and the rest will be sold to the grid for the community to buy.
The farmers will also have access to a free nutrient-rich fertiliser that is a by-product of the biogas production process.
According to Mr Horan, this will see 30,000 tonnes of green waste saved from landfill.
"The facility will produce a constant 2.2 megawatts of clean, green energy from the outset, with zero emissions. That's enough to power 20,000 homes," Mr Horan said.
"Unlike renewable energy from wind and solar, the plant will generate baseload green energy 24/7, 365 days a year and the output will increase to 3.3 megawatts in time."
A finalised Environmental Impact Statement is yet to be lodged with NSW Department of Planning and Environment.
Once it has been submitted the proposal will be available for stakeholder feedback and any submissions raised will need to be addressed before the department assesses the project.