Byron Shire bioenergy facility DA approved

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The Northern Rivers Regional Planning Panel has approved a development application (DA) for a bioenergy facility to be built at the Byron Shire Council’s Byron Bay sewage treatment plant.

The bioenergy facility will process 28,000 tonnes of green waste per year and convert it into renewable energy, producing enough electricity to power the plant as well as the Byron Bay STP.

Excess energy will be exported into the grid and it will also produce a very high-quality compost for use locally by residents and farmers.

Project Manager, John Hart, said the Panel’s decision is an exciting and historic moment for Byron Shire, the Northern Rivers and Australia.

“While this technology is in use in other parts of the world, especially Europe, this is the first time a dry anaerobic digestion facility of this kind has been approved for development in Australia,” Mr Hart said.

“It’s a golden opportunity for Byron Shire to pave the way towards zero emissions with an innovative waste management and renewable energy solution,” he said.

The bioenergy facility will convert organic waste to renewable energy and compost, divert waste from landfill and reduce carbon emissions.

The NRPP has added several conditions to balance the operational needs and biodiversity value of the site which is an artificial wetland constructed by Council.

These include:

  • a limit to the number of vehicles on the site
  • vegetation fencing solutions to further protect the adjacent flora and fauna.

“This is a fantastic project that will help our community increase its long-term resilience towards climate change,” Mr Hart said.

The project will be reviewed by the elected Council later in 2022, with grant funding options for the $23.8 million project currently being explored.

The NRPP DA determination is on the NSW Planning Portal.

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