Australia's first renewable green gas injection project will power more than 6,000 NSW homes
Australia’s first biomethane-to-gas project will see thousands of Sydney homes and businesses using renewable green gas for cooking, heating and hot water.
Leading energy infrastructure company Jemena has signed an agreement with Sydney Water to generate biomethane at the Malabar Wastewater Treatment Plant, in South Sydney. The zero carbon emission high-quality biomethane gas will be injected into Jemena’s New South Wales gas distribution network – the largest in Australia with 1.4 million customers.
The $14 million project is jointly funded by Jemena ($8.1 million) and ARENA, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency who provided $5.9 million in grant funding.
Jemena Executive General Manager, Gas Distribution, Dr Jennifer Purdie, said as Australia looks to recover from the financial impacts of COVID-19, circular economy opportunities have the potential to create jobs, support business growth, and enhance energy security, with no impact to the network or customer appliances.
“Our customers have told us they want to purchase verified and accredited zero emission green gas as is currently the case for renewable electricity. We are challenging the notion that the only way to be 100 per cent renewable is through electrification, and this project will introduce the first renewable gas certificates to support our call for a national renewable gas certification scheme,” said Dr Purdie.
Bioenergy is derived from plant and animal by-products, agriculture, farming, forestry and human wastes. When converted into biomethane, it is a reliable and responsive carbon neutral energy.
Bioenergy and waste-to-energy projects are widespread in the US and Europe, with Bioenergy Australia estimating, in 2016, that the total contribution of the US biofuels industry was $459 billion, employing 4.65 million direct and indirect workers.
The Malabar biomethane project is expected to remove 5,000 tonnes of carbon emissions - the equivalent of around 4,500 cars off the road – and potentially 11,000 tonnes if scaled up to its full potential, making it a significant contributor to the NSW Government’s Stage 1, Net Zero Plan, to cut emissions by 35 per cent by 2030 compared to 2005 levels.
The facility is expected to produce the first biomethane for injection into the Jemena Gas Network in 2022.