Yarra Valley Water – Waste to Energy Plant for Lilydale

The Yarra Valley Water Corporation has proposed the construction of a waste to energy facility to be built at the Lilydale Treatment Plant at 83-85 Nelson Road, Lilydale VIC 3140.

The proposal is a more environmentally sensitive alternative to power generation than traditional coal and gas which require intensive mining activity. This method of energy production, called Anaerobic Digestion, uses material that would otherwise be waste and converts it into combustible methane that can be burned to make heat and electricity.

Anaerobic digestion is a process that generates a methane rich biogas which can be combusted in a combined heat and power (CHP) generator to generate heat and electricity. It is frequently used in small scale energy projects in developing countries to service areas that lack large scale energy production coverage.

The facility would be designed to process organic waste from the food and beverage sector to generate electricity. It is expected to be capable of processing approximately 55,000 tonnes of organic waste per year with an anticipated 13,000 MWh of electrical energy flowing to the local electrical grid.

The construction of the new facility in Lilydale will include:

  • Waste receival shed containing unloading bays and machinery
  • Liquid storage tanks
  • Anaerobic digester tanks
  • Combined heat and power generators
  • Emergency flare
  • Biofilters for odour treatment
  • Fire water tanks
  • Surface water catchment ponds
  • Plant and equipment
Concept Diagram from the EPA Development License Application

The process also generates a residual organic waste stream called digestate. Digestate will be processed onsite. This will separate it into solid and liquid components. It is expected that 70% of the liquid will be recovered as purified water. The remaining solid and liquid components will be processed for reuse in the composting and agricultural sector.

The project does introduce some risks which have been document as part of the submission and the proposed site is in relatively close proximity to parks and residential areas, so if you live in the area around the Lilydale Wastewater Treatment plant then it’s probably worth having a read through the submission and getting involved in the consultation process.

To read more about the proposal visit the Engage Victoria website where the development license application documents can be viewed. Feedback submissions are open until the 8th of March.

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