A $42 million mix of solar, battery storage, cogeneration and biogas will make Teys' Wagga meat processing facility energy self-sufficient, and provide extra revenue for local farmers.
The company today outlined plans to make its Wagga abattoir and food manufacturing site self-sufficient in electricity and steam.
Teys' resource efficiency group manager, Carl Duncan told Footprint the site required heating, cooling, refrigeration and steam.
Having these varied energy systems prompted Teys to opt for a range of technologies capable of producing thermal and electrical energy, as well as "using heat recovery in a smart way", and successfully integrating with the grid, he said.
Instead of using consultants, Duncan and his team developed the plan over the past year and a half with assistance from one of their industry associations.
Benefits for farmersIn addition to making the site energy self-sufficient, the 'low emissions energy hub' aims to provide extra revenue for local farmers who could sell agricultural waste to Teys.
The waste could be anaerobically digested to produce biogas "or it could be used in a biomass boiler to produce steam", Duncan said.
A substantial solar PV and battery storage system will be installed on the site, with initial modelling based on 10MW of PV and 10MWh of storage.
If the company can secure funding to help with the project, it should be completed by about 2023, Duncan said, otherwise it could take significantly longer.
Part of the impetus for the project was rising energy and water costs, which went up by $2 million last year alone, according to the company.
However, Duncan said the move also aligns with Teys' five-year plan to cut carbon emissions and water use, which was finalised last year.
It also aligns with stakeholder and community expectations, he said.
Duncan noted that the site already meets at least 10% of its energy needs using biogas produced by treating wastewater in a covered anaerobic lagoon and using it as a partial substitute for natural gas (see background here).
If the Wagga hub is successful, then Teys plans to deploy the same technologies at its other sites.
Duncan advised other companies that might be contemplating similar projects to start by improving their energy productivity, and then follow that with the deployment of renewable and clean energy technologies.