Australia’s First Combined Methane and Solar Power Plant Set to Open


In a first of its kind in Australia, a combined methane and solar power plant located in South Australia is set to begin operations in a couple of days. The plant is featured by a shared turbine inter-connector that will transfer methane gas produced from decomposed garbage and thermal energy from solar panels. In the later stage, the two sources of energy will be converted into electricity to be supplied to the South Australian grid.

The plant managed by the Northern Adelaide Waste Management Authority is expected to commence operations next week, and is expected to start exporting electricity from next month.

As stated by a senior executive at Northern Adelaide Waste Management Authority, the initiative is a two-pronged attack to convert trash into gold. Not only this, there lies a conservation approach to the buildup of the plant. The buffer land surrounding the site of a landfill has been used to build the solar power farm, which will trap thermal heat. The thermal energy trapped will be passed through the same equipment as the one used to pass gas, something that has never been done earlier in Australia.

Project Executors Plan Gas-based Electricity and Solar Powered Electricity to Feed into Public Power Grid

Gas produced from the decomposition of garbage will act as feedstock for the plant, and will generate about 11,000 MWh of electricity every year to serve the electricity needs of 1,800 homes. The 5,000 sq. m sized solar panel farm is expected to generate 2,000 MWh of electricity every year to serve the power needs of 300 homes.

In the next stage, the project which is a joint effort of NAWMA and two South Australian energy companies will involve entering into contracts with the state’s public power grid.

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