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An abattoir in Goulburn, NSW is turning its own organic waste and effluent into electricity to help power its operations in a recently completed biogas project.

Wastewater – liquid abattoir run-off containing manure and offal – from the Southern Meats abattoir is sent to a huge PVC-covered pond which captures the biogas.

The gas produced is pumped into a turbine that produces electricity to operate the plant at peak times of the daily billing cycle to reduce its overall electricity costs.

Southern Meats partnered with ReNu Energy on the Goulburn Bioenergy Project, and commercial operation has now begun.

To be able to meet the peak demand periods, the generators can be operated on dual fuel, blending biogas with natural gas.

The project will supply approximately 4,000 MWh of energy annually, which is over 50 per cent of the abattoir's power consumption, providing and a significant reduction in energy costs and carbon emissions.

ReNu Energy owns and operates the project under a Build Own Operate Maintain (BOOM) model whereby it owns and operates the equipment. Southern Meats purchases the electricity supplied under a 20 year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).

The digester is now receiving the full waste flow from the facility, and biogas production is ramping up with high gas quality, according to ReNu Energy managing director Chris Murray, and two 800 kW dual fuel Caterpillar generators have been operated on both natural gas and biogas.

“The commercial operation of the Goulburn Bioenergy Project is a significant milestone for ReNu Energy and for the bioenergy sector in Australia,” Murray said.

The project is supported by a $2.1 million grant funding agreement with Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA ).