Australian-First Renewable Organics Networks

06 June 2020

The Victorian Government is powering a jobs and renewable energy boom in the states south west thanks to the nation’s first Renewable Organics Networks.

The Minister for Water Lisa Neville today announced two Renewable Organics Networks projects to reduce waste going to landfill by using organic waste to produce electricity.

The networks will transform organic municipal and trade organic waste into renewable energy and bi-products such as soil enhancers for agricultural purposes.

With a facility being built at the Colac Water Reclamation Plant and another under development for the greater Geelong area the projects will create more than 80 new jobs across the construction and ongoing facility management stages.

The projects being delivered by Barwon Water, will create a circular economy for the region’s organic waste, reduce landfill costs for councils and reduce water infrastructure energy costs for Barwon Water customers.

Construction for the Colac network, which received $240,000 in 2018, is already underway. Once complete the project is expected to generate enough energy to power more than 1,000 homes thanks to high-strength organic waste from the Australian Lamb Company and Bulla Dairy Foods.

The Colac site will share energy back to Australian Lamb Company as hot water, and produce enough electricity to take Barwon Water’s Colac wastewater treatment plant off the grid.

Work is also underway to investigate options to build a similar facility by the end of 2023 for the greater Geelong region to process organic waste collected by local councils.

The projects are being delivered by Barwon Water in partnership with the five Geelong Region Alliance (G21) councils, the Australian Lamb Company and Bulla Dairy Foods.

The projects are alight with the Governments water plan, Water for Victoria, for the water sector to lead the way to achieve Victoria’s ambitious target of net-zero emissions by 2050.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Water Lisa Neville

“We know the impact climate change is having on inflows to our water storages and the health of our waterways, it’s never been more important to deliver creative solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

“We want our water corporations and the whole sector to help Victoria adapt to climate change – ensuring we continue to support jobs, liveable communities and a healthy environment.”

Quote attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio

“This project not only reduces waste going to landfill but also boosts Victoria’s renewable energy capacity – creating jobs, reducing emissions and driving down energy prices.”

Reviewed 26 June 2020

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