The CVGA has recently submitted a funding application under the Collaborating Councils Sustainability Fund to deliver a Business Case analysing the viability of expanding the waste-to-energy system being trialled in Hepburn to all its neighbouring Councils.
If successful, this project will commence delivery in 2018/19.
Proof-of-concept to install a network of up to 70 waste-to-energy micro-power stations to power community buildings across 6 regional shires. Equivalent to a 6MW co-generation power plant, this network would divert 43,000 tonnes of organic waste from landfill, cut Greenhouse Gas emissions by 80,000 tonnes (20,000 cars) and save Rate Payers over $9.5 million per year. The project has an estimated Payback period of under 4 years and an average Return on Investment (ROI) for participating Councils of over 21%.
We expect the Business Case to confirm that, at an upfront capital cost of $33 million, this system would annually convert the 43,000 tonnes of organic waste collected by the six participating Councils each year into:
- 4.4 MW of electricity and 6 MW of heat
- 10,000m3 of class A water p.a.
- 3000 tonnes of nutrient rich ‘soil conditioner’ p.a.
If successful, this would be the first such system in regional Australia. The particular attractiveness of this approach for regional municipalities is that it is modular, relatively low-cost and easily scalable.
Like lego, the power-stations consist of pairs of 22 ft shipping containers (one to digest the fuel and the other to burn it and create electricity) that can be attached to Hospitals, Library’s, Pools or Office buildings. If demand increases or other buildings added, more shipping containers can be purchased and joined up, or they can be moved on trucks like mobile disaster-relief power generators.
An estimate of the potential benefits to participating Councils to be tested and validated under this project are:
|Councils||Hepburn||Macedon||Ballarat||Central Goldfields||Mount Alexander||Pyrenees||Totals|
|Total organic waste tonnage||2,930||8,643||25,000||1,040||4,830||560||43,003|
|Current Mgmnt Cost (exc. Transport)||$170,000||$413,761||$1,400,000||$127,200||$234,400||$79,140||$2,424,501|
|Total Avoided Cost p.a.||$823,908||$2,432,395||$6,984,636||$292,247||$1,352,245||$163,825||$12,049,256|
|GHG Emissions Saved p.a.||5,482||16,170||46,773||1,946||9,036||1,048||80,455|
|No. of micro-power stations||4||12||32||2||6||2||58|