Byron Shire Bioenergy Facility

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A smarter, local waste solution

Byron Shire Council is considering bioenergy as an innovative solution to our region’s organic waste management problem.

We are looking at bioenergy because it will help us achieve zero carbon emissions by 2025 through the creation of a renewable energy source, in alignment with our Net Zero Emissions Strategy.

If successful, the Byron Shire Bioenergy Facility will be the first of its kind in Australia.

Bioenergy can be used to convert local organic green waste into renewable energy and a compost product.

Based on globally-proven technology and successful bioenergy projects in Europe, Canada and the United States.

Proposed location

Council Operational Land, Byron Bay Sewage Treatment Plant.

Current stage - Feasibility, learning more about bioenergy

  • Detailed assessments and a further business case analysis are now in process.
  • Funding options are also being explored, including Federal grants.

How could bioenergy work in the Byron Shire? Learn more...

Take a look at the supporting information and submit your question using the Q&A tool, or email us.

We will respond via this site (or personally if you’d like your question kept private).

Your questions will help Council make decisions on the next stage of the project.

Supporting info:



A smarter, local waste solution

Byron Shire Council is considering bioenergy as an innovative solution to our region’s organic waste management problem.

We are looking at bioenergy because it will help us achieve zero carbon emissions by 2025 through the creation of a renewable energy source, in alignment with our Net Zero Emissions Strategy.

If successful, the Byron Shire Bioenergy Facility will be the first of its kind in Australia.

Bioenergy can be used to convert local organic green waste into renewable energy and a compost product.

Based on globally-proven technology and successful bioenergy projects in Europe, Canada and the United States.

Proposed location

Council Operational Land, Byron Bay Sewage Treatment Plant.

Current stage - Feasibility, learning more about bioenergy

  • Detailed assessments and a further business case analysis are now in process.
  • Funding options are also being explored, including Federal grants.

How could bioenergy work in the Byron Shire? Learn more...

Take a look at the supporting information and submit your question using the Q&A tool, or email us.

We will respond via this site (or personally if you’d like your question kept private).

Your questions will help Council make decisions on the next stage of the project.

Supporting info:


  • Bioenergy at the Byron Farmers Market, Thursday 26 November

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    25 Nov 2020
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    Come and learn more about Council's proposed Bioenergy Facility at the Byron Farmers Market, Thursday 26 November.

    The project team will be available at the Council stand.

    Feel free to ask them a question about bioenergy or this project!

  • How could bioenergy work best for the Byron Shire?

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    30 Oct 2020

    Council is asking the community to learn more and have a say about its proposed bioenergy facility which will break down the Byron Shire’s green waste into biogas and convert it into clean, renewable energy.

    “Bioenergy offers a smarter, local waste solution which could reduce landfill and help Council to become carbon neutral”, Byron Shire Mayor Simon Richardson said.

    “This project, whilst still in the feasibility stage, is exciting on so many levels because it is an example of a regional Council stepping up and taking control of its waste with the added benefit of using that waste to generate electricity and a valuable agricultural bi-product in the form of compost,” Mayor Richardson said.

    “The type of bioenergy facility we are proposing is operating in many places around the world but this would be the first of its type in Australia,” he said.

    Byron Shire produces around 20,000 tonnes of organic green waste a year with is sent to Queensland for processing.

    Mayor Richardson said if successful, a facility at the Byron Bay sewage treatment plant would process the region’s organic green waste, including commercial organic waste, sewage biosolids and grease trap waste, and convert it into approximately 4 million kilowatt-hours of renewable electricity per year.

    This would produce enough electricity to run the Byron Bay sewage treatment plant with excess electricity to be sent back to the grid, creating a long term revenue stream for Council and ratepayers.

    The remaining high nutrient residue would also be converted into a compost product to support the local agricultural industry.

    “It offers an opportunity for a circular economy, where waste is eliminated and the green waste is recycled and returned to the soil, where the process starts again,” Mayor Richardson said.

    “By creating renewable energy right here in the Byron Shire, and using our own green waste to fuel it, we can reduce landfill, get trucks off roads and work smart as a community to tackle climate change.”

    The bioenergy project is an important step in Council’s draft Net Zero Emissions Action Plan, which is currently on public exhibition. Estimated to cost between $15-20 million, Council is currently submitting applications for Federal funding.

    “By investing in this technology, Council will reduce its emissions, increase productivity of its sewage treatment plant, create jobs in the renewables sector and support the local agricultural industry,” Mayor Richardson said.

    “Importantly, it will help fulfill our commitment as a Council to achieve Net Zero Emissions by 2025 and sourcing 100 percent of our energy from renewable sources by 2027,” he said.

  • What is bioenergy?

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    30 Oct 2020
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    When organic matters breaks down in oxygen-free conditions, it emits a natural biogas. If this biogas is heated, it creates electricity, heat or gas. This is called BIOENERGY.


    What organic matter can be used?

    • Organic waste from residential green bins;
    • Food waste from restaurants and cafes;
    • Agricultural waste from local farmers; and
    • Bio-solids from sewage treatment plants


    Where does it go to and what happens to it?

    The waste is collected and taken to a contained waste management facility where it is stored for approximately 28 days in oxygen-free conditions. This process is called DRY ANAEROBIC DIGESTION.


    How is energy created?

    A natural biogas emits from the organic waste and is captured. A combined heat and power unit converts the natural biogas to energy.

    The newly created energy goes back into the combined heat and power unit to start the process again. This is called a CLOSED LOOP CARBON CYCLE because the carbon created stays within the system. Any excess energy created is available for dispatch to the electricity grid.


    What happens to the leftover organic waste?

    The organic waste left after the dry anaerobic digestion process is converted into a nutrient-rich compost product for use by the agricultural industry to grow more crops. This is called a CIRCULAR ECONOMY.




    Green waste converts to clean, green energy. Biogas is captured inside a fermenter and converts to energy via a combined heat and power unit.

  • Background of Bioenergy in the Northern Rivers

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    30 Oct 2020


    • 2013: NSW North Coast Bioenergy Scoping Study: Investigation into the main bioenergy feedstocks in the Northern Rivers region conducted. Brief overview of the main bioenergy technologies, by Institute for Sustainable Futures, funded by the Office of Environment and Heritage.
    • 2016: SUSTAIN Northern Rivers conducts a bioenergy social licence survey.
    • 2016: Eco Waste Pty Ltd conducts a study, Northern Rivers Biohubs Project ‘First-Order’ Pre-Feasibility Study Eco Waste.
    • 2017: Byron Shire Council conducts a Biomass Sources And Siting Assessment.
    • 2018: Byron Shire Council carries out pre-feasibility assessments for a bioenergy facility.
    • 2019: Preliminary business case presented to Council.
    • February 2020: Council selects the dry anaerobic digestion process as the preferred technology.
    • March 2020: Further detailed assessments commence and grant application for funding prepared for further feasibility studies.