Shoalhaven Landfill Gas Project
The Shoalhaven project is located at Nowra approximately 2.5 hours south of Sydney. Shoalhaven City Council owns the landfill site and AGL owns the gas extraction and power generation facility and holds the gas rights. The landfill site is expected to provide gas for the electricity project for approximately 15 years.
Fuel source and supply
The facility extracts the methane gas produced by the decomposition of organic matter in the landfill and oxidises the methane via the engine to utilise the energy to produce electricity. Three kilometres of gas pipe has been installed across the landfill site connecting the existing 55 wells to the generator. Up to 20 additional wells may be inserted over the next five years. The wells are up to 15 metres deep. Landfill gas is an environmentally friendly energy source that is derived from the anaerobic decomposition of organic waste matter.
Plant equipment and operation
The plant operates 24 hours a day subject to the availability of the landfill gas. The electricity exported to the grid from the project is generated by using the landfill gas to run a 1.1 MW Deutz engine.
Energy purchase and supply
Power is generated at 415 volts and stepped up to 11,000 volts for connection to Integral Energy 's 11 kV local distribution network. The plant is an accredited power station under the Renewable Energy (Electricity)Act and eligible to create Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). The power and RECs produced by the plant are sold to AGL Electricity under a long-term agreement.
Landfill gas is a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide in approximately 50/50 proportions. Methane has a global warming potential 21 times that of carbon dioxide. When the generator is running at full capacity in 2006 it is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 40,000 tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent per annum. Greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced by replacing electricity generated using coal and by utilising the methane produced by the landfill site that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere.
The project demonstrates the importance of business working together in partnership with both local and State governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. AGL successfully bid for the project through a competitive tender process with Shoalhaven City Council. AGL invested $1.9 million in the development of the facility. The NSW Government, through SEDA, contributed $150,000.