Small Farms

Nowra Dairy Farms join together to become a renewable energy hub

dairy herd stock image

A group of 18 Dairy Farming families in the Nowra area have banded together to support the establishment of a large-scale Renewable Energy Biogas Power Generation Plant to be built by Innovating Energy Pty Ltd. The plant will be the first planned to be developed on a number of sites secured by the company at Dairies, Pig Farms, Beef Cattle Feedlots and Chicken farms in most States.

Innovating Energy’s Managing Director, David Ryan announced that the project was proceeding and thanked the Hon Angus Taylor, Minister for Energy & Emission Reduction for his support after the Minister announced that the project would be provided with Grant assistance under the Federal Coalition Governments Microgrid Energy Initiative. The Minister for Agriculture the Hon David Littleproud has also shown great interest in this industry opportunity.

The first project is unique in that the manure from each dairy in the group will be aggregated to feed and operate the biogas plant to be built on one of the farms and the electricity produced will be shared between the group of dairies and the excess will be sold to retail customers.

Local fourth generation dairy farmers Tim Cochrane and his brother Tom who have been two of the projects active supporters said that the Biogas Plant would provide significant cost benefits and energy savings for dairying in the area and greatly assist in dealing with manure clean-up. Rising energy costs are a major consideration in operating dairy farms, particularly the costs associated with keeping milk at the required temperature prior to pick up by the processors.

The biogas project has the support of the NSW Government appointed Dairy Advocate, Ian Zandstra whose dairy farm is included in the group. Ian stated that by using manure from the dairies to run the Biogas plant it would not only provide clean renewable energy, but once fully operational it will address the challenges of manure storage over the year and subsequent timely spreading on the farm as nutrient rich organic fertiliser from the Biogas process which is great news for the local environment.

Once the necessary approvals have been finalised the Innovating Energy Biogas plant will be built over a 12-14-month period with completion expected in late 2021. The plant features the very latest in Biogas equipment and technology creating a Zero Emission unit producing clean, green energy 24/7. The plant will use manure and a number of other food & green waste inputs as well as energy crops grown using waste Bio-solids, some of which are a by-product of milk bottling facilities.

David Ryan was quoted as saying ‘Innovating Energy’s plans to incorporate waste milk products in the digestion process will create a true circular waste to energy cycle that uses all dairy waste’. Once the digestion process is complete and the methane gas is extracted from the manure and the bio-solid additives, a nutrient rich loam is left which can be spread on the dairy’s pastures further adding to the circular economy effect for the dairy industry.

Source: Innovating Energy Pty Ltd

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