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ReNu Energy's Goulburn Bioenergy Project commences commercial operation

Australia-based ReNu Energy Ltd, an independent power producer (IPP) that provides clean energy products and services using a build, own, operate and maintain (BOOM) model has announced that its Goulburn Bioenergy Project, located at the Southern Meats Pty Ltd abattoir in Goulburn, New South Wales (NSW) has reached "practical completion" and commenced commercial operation. The anaerobic digester and biogas treatment plant have been commissioned and are operational.

Anaerobic digester (AD) and flare of the recently commissioned Goulburn Bioenergy Project (photo courtesy ReNu Energy).

The Goulburn Bioenergy Project is located at the Southern Meats Pty Ltd abattoir in Goulburn, NSW. The project includes an anaerobic digester, which is supplied with wastewater from the abattoir, biogas treatment plant, two 800 kW dual fuel Caterpillar generators and electrical interconnection to the abattoir. The electricity generated is supplied to the abattoir at peak times of the daily billing cycle to reduce the facility’s overall electricity costs.

To be able to meet the peak demand periods, the generators can be operated on dual fuel, blending biogas with natural gas. Dual fuel blending is a novel and innovative application in the field of bioenergy, enabling projects to better meet the demand cycles of customers and enhance project viability through the addition of natural gas.

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

The project will generate Large-Scale Renewable Energy Certificates (LGCs) and Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs) which will be to ReNu Energy’s account. ReNu Energy has a contract for the supply of ACCUs with the Clean Energy Regulator. The project is supported by an AU$2.1 million grant funding agreement with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

According to a statement, the digester is receiving the full waste flow from the abattoir and biogas production is ramping up with high gas quality. The 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. The project will supply approximately 4 000 MWh of energy annually, representing over 50 percent of the facility’s power consumption and a significant reduction in energy costs and carbon emissions for our customer, Southern Meats. The project would not have been possible without the support of Southern Meats, and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). We acknowledge and thank Southern Meats and ARENA for their support, said Chris Murray, Managing Director of ReNu Energy.

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