Gas-to-power project contends for national award

Gladstone Regional Council’s willingness to embrace green power has it in line to take out a prestigious national award later this month.

Council’s Benaraby Landfill Gas-to-Power Project was last month announced as the winner of the Boosting Productivity through Infrastructure category at the 2017 National Awards for Local Government and is now in the running for the overall 2017 National Award for Excellence in Local Government.

Mayor Matt Burnett said the project, which was completed in December 2016, extracts gas generated by landfill waste and converts it into green power in an environmentally, economically and socially sustainable manner.

“The project is the first of its kind to be registered under the Federal Government’s Carbon Farming Initiative (now Emissions Reduction Fund) and eliminated Council’s liability under the Carbon Price Mechanism, saving about $250,000 during the 2013-14 financial year.

“Project dividends are plentiful with the project contributing to the region’s energy infrastructure, boosting regional productivity and minimising environmental risks and liability associated with the generation of landfill gas,” said the mayor.

“And there are even bigger plans for the future with Council to commission a second biogas engine and development of a solar photovoltaic (PV) plant adjacent to the existing facility in order to maximise use of the existing interconnection to the electricity grid.

“Combining landfill gas-to-power and solar power to create a regional hub of green energy infrastructure will be an Australian first.”

By investing in the development of a long-term, green, baseload power project, Council is diversifying the region’s power sources and helping to future-proof its energy infrastructure.

Mayor Burnett said Council set out to demonstrate that regional governments could achieve industry best practice for landfill assets and participate in the emerging carbon and green energy markets.

“We have achieved that already with greater achievements still to come,” he said.

The gas-to-power project has already delivered a number of positive outcomes to the region including reducing landfill greenhouse gas emissions by more than 60 per cent and abating more than 150,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalence.

The 2017 National Award for Excellence in Local Government will be announced at the Australian Local Government Association National General Assembly Dinner at the National Convention Centre in Canberra.