Organic waste destined for landfill will be transformed into renewable energy thanks to funding from Sustainability Victoria, delivered on behalf of the Victorian Government in Australia.
The $8 million (€4.9 million) Waste to Energy – Bioenergy Fund is Victoria’s largest investment in bioenergy to date, and is designed to significantly boost the region's bioenergy capacity.
The fund is supporting 24 projects, and will ensure waste produced by farming and food production, such as cooking oil, dairy excess and vegetable offcuts, will be converted into electricity, heat, gas or liquid fuel.
One of the fund recipients is Katunga Fresh Produce, a hydroponic truss tomato grower in the Goulburn Valley. The grant from Sustainability Victoria will support their plans to build a pyrolysis plant to process their excess organic matter. The energy produced will result in 145,000 gigajoules of natural gas being returned to the grid, warming their glasshouses in the process. This investment will save Katunga $3 million (€1.8 million) per year.
Another fund recipient is Australian Consolidated Milk, which plans to develop a facility to process cheese whey waste from the cheese production process. The biogas created when the cheese whey is broken down will be converted into electricity to run the dairy manufacturing plant.
Yarra Valley Water corporation will use its funding to purchase generation equipment at its anaerobic digestion facility at Lilydale Sewage Treatment Plant. Once the company's plant is operational, it will process around 27,000 tonnes per annum of commercial and industrial food waste, producing around 11,400 megawatt hours of electricity each year to power their facility, with the remaining energy injected into the grid.
In addition to building Victoria’s capability in bioenergy, these projects are slated to significantly contribute to achieving the state's targets to halve organic waste sent to landfill by 2030.