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Albury Wodonga is at the leading edge of Australia’s renewable energy future with a number of large-scale projects either already underway, or set to begin soon.
Here’s a look at three projects putting Albury Wodonga on the map in terms of investment in renewable energy and the circular economy.
Scipher solar panel recycling
Scipher was awarded a $1.7 million NSW Government grant in July 2022 to support the development of its large-scale photovoltaic (PV) panel recycling facility. PV panels are the familiar black panels we see on the roofs of houses, alongside us at our campsites or as part of solar farms providing clean, renewable energy.
The need for a sustainable solution for recycling PV panels is only expected to grow. Initially, the Scipher facility will process up to 2,000 tonnes of PV panel waste with a view to increasing capacity as demand increases.
“Our proposed PV panel recycling facility will employ some of the most advanced, environmentally sound and commercially proven recycling technology available,” Chris Sayers, Schiper Managing Director, said.
Hydrogen Park Murray Valley
Hydrogen Park Murray Valley (HyP Murray Valley) is the next step in Australian Gas Network (AGN) and partners ENGIE work to deliver a cleaner natural gas solution to homes and businesses. The greenfield HyP Murray Valley will build upon existing infrastructure to produce renewable hydrogen, which will be mixed with the natural gas supply to reduce carbon emissions to customers in Victoria and NSW.
Not only is this a greener energy solution – from July 2023, the group plans to cut prices by 10% for AGN and Multinet Gas Networks (MGN) customers by 1%, thanks to the inclusion of renewable hydrogen in their gas networks.
“Customers are looking for sustainable energy solutions, and gas has an important role to play in the low carbon energy transformation. We want to ensure that customers can keep connecting to our existing gas networks to access the potential of hydrogen and renewable gas in the future. Our plans propose several important initiatives in support of this ambition,” Australian Gas Infrastructure Group’s (AGIG) Chief Executive Officer, Mr Craig de Laine, said.
Hydrogen decarbonisation has flow-on effects for the electricity and transport sectors, helping them to decarbonise as well, according to AGIG.
Circular Plastics Australia (CPA) closed loop PET recycling
Australia’s largest PET recycling facility has bolstered its sustainability credentials by installing a 1421 solar panel and energy monitoring system commissioned by Mondo. The 632kWh solar Photovoltaic (PV) Power Purchase Agreement system provides enough power to recycle over 52 million PET bottles annually.
Circular Plastics Australia was recently recognised for their “game-changing, closed-loop operation” by the \ Australian Packaging and Processing Machinery Association (APPMA) with a Sustainability Excellence Award.
The Albury-Wodonga PET recycling facility is a joint venture between Pact Group, Cleanaway Waste Management Ltd, Asahi Beverages, and Coca-Cola Europacific Partners (CCEP) and opened in March 2022 with support from the NSW Waste Less, Recycle More initiative and the Australian Government’s Recycling Modernisation Fund.