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About the RON

The project is looking at the viability of a purpose-built facility on a Barwon Water site to provide organic waste management security for the region’s growing population, reduce landfill costs for councils and reduce water infrastructure energy costs for customers.

The Renewable Organic Network will also demonstrate how water authorities, councils and business working together can be leaders in the circular economy – showcasing tangible economic and environmental benefits.

This project will enable Barwon Water and councils to:

  • Address climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  • Enable sustainable waste management
  • Reduce energy and waste costs for customers

Whilst it is often referred to as a “waste to energy” or “energy from waste” project, the processing facility does not use incineration to derive the renewable energy. This project uses anaerobic digestion, a process that relies on microorganisms to breakdown the organic waste (in the absence of oxygen) into products that can be recycled (like compost / soil enhancers).

Watch our latest webinar for an in depth overview of the Renewable Organics Network.


How will it work?

Organic waste is transported to the processing site in trucks where it undergoes “pre-treatment” to breakdown and prepare the feedstock before it is fed into a sealed, oxygen free tank called a ‘digester’.

This process will generate:

  • Biogas (from the methane produced during the material decomposition process)
  • Remaining organic material (remaining material solids left over from the decomposition process, also known as digestate)

The biogas will then be used to create dispatchable energy whilst the digestate will be turned into fertiliser and soil enhancers to be used across the region. We are also exploring other possible outputs from the remaining organics material (see figure 1 below).

Regional RON concept

Figure 1: concept for the Regional Renewable Organics Network - circular economy

Benefits

The project could generate significant benefits to the region including:

  • Organic waste management security for the G21 and Wyndham region’s growing population
  • Diverting significant municipal and trade organic waste away from costly landfill and converting this into dispatchable renewable energy
  • Creation of jobs, knowledge and skills
  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions – through landfill diversion and renewable energy
  • Reduced energy costs for water treatment plants, waste to landfill disposal

Australian-first underway

Barwon Water is also undertaking an Australian-first Renewable Organics Network in Colac, using high-strength organic resources from Australian Lamb Company and Bulla Dairy Foods (see figure 2 below).

Figure 2: Colac Renewable Organics Network - circular economy

For more information about this visit barwonwater.vic.gov.au/about-us/major-projects/renewable-organics-networks

Our history for innovation

Barwon Water has a strong history of developing innovative and sustainable solutions to complex operational challenges. Our work at Black Rock Water Reclamation Plant and Northern Water Plan in North Shore have transformed the way we process sewage and waste.

The Regional Organics Network will build on our Strategy 2030 goals for zero waste and zero emissions. This forward thinking has led to the delivery of high quality Class A recycled water and the largest solar farm in Southern Victoria at Black Rock. As we investigate the feasibility of developing a second Regional Organics Network in the Geelong region, Barwon Water continues to make strides in our current facilities.



Got a question? Click here to ask.


About the RON

The project is looking at the viability of a purpose-built facility on a Barwon Water site to provide organic waste management security for the region’s growing population, reduce landfill costs for councils and reduce water infrastructure energy costs for customers.

The Renewable Organic Network will also demonstrate how water authorities, councils and business working together can be leaders in the circular economy – showcasing tangible economic and environmental benefits.

This project will enable Barwon Water and councils to:

  • Address climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  • Enable sustainable waste management
  • Reduce energy and waste costs for customers

Whilst it is often referred to as a “waste to energy” or “energy from waste” project, the processing facility does not use incineration to derive the renewable energy. This project uses anaerobic digestion, a process that relies on microorganisms to breakdown the organic waste (in the absence of oxygen) into products that can be recycled (like compost / soil enhancers).

Watch our latest webinar for an in depth overview of the Renewable Organics Network.


How will it work?

Organic waste is transported to the processing site in trucks where it undergoes “pre-treatment” to breakdown and prepare the feedstock before it is fed into a sealed, oxygen free tank called a ‘digester’.

This process will generate:

  • Biogas (from the methane produced during the material decomposition process)
  • Remaining organic material (remaining material solids left over from the decomposition process, also known as digestate)

The biogas will then be used to create dispatchable energy whilst the digestate will be turned into fertiliser and soil enhancers to be used across the region. We are also exploring other possible outputs from the remaining organics material (see figure 1 below).

Regional RON concept

Figure 1: concept for the Regional Renewable Organics Network - circular economy

Benefits

The project could generate significant benefits to the region including:

  • Organic waste management security for the G21 and Wyndham region’s growing population
  • Diverting significant municipal and trade organic waste away from costly landfill and converting this into dispatchable renewable energy
  • Creation of jobs, knowledge and skills
  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions – through landfill diversion and renewable energy
  • Reduced energy costs for water treatment plants, waste to landfill disposal

Australian-first underway

Barwon Water is also undertaking an Australian-first Renewable Organics Network in Colac, using high-strength organic resources from Australian Lamb Company and Bulla Dairy Foods (see figure 2 below).

Figure 2: Colac Renewable Organics Network - circular economy

For more information about this visit barwonwater.vic.gov.au/about-us/major-projects/renewable-organics-networks

Our history for innovation

Barwon Water has a strong history of developing innovative and sustainable solutions to complex operational challenges. Our work at Black Rock Water Reclamation Plant and Northern Water Plan in North Shore have transformed the way we process sewage and waste.

The Regional Organics Network will build on our Strategy 2030 goals for zero waste and zero emissions. This forward thinking has led to the delivery of high quality Class A recycled water and the largest solar farm in Southern Victoria at Black Rock. As we investigate the feasibility of developing a second Regional Organics Network in the Geelong region, Barwon Water continues to make strides in our current facilities.



Got a question? Click here to ask.