A new renewable energy hub combing solar power and bio-gas has been launched at Seaford Heights, providing energy for surrounding homes.

Published on 17 December 2020

New renewable energy hub powers 4400 homes

More than 4400 homes in Southern Adelaide will soon be powered by a new renewable energy hub that combines solar power and bio-gas.

The hub includes the state’s first solar farm built on landfill that is sealed to prevent harmful emissions leaking into the atmosphere.

The 1780 solar panels at the Southern Region Waste Resource Authority’s(SRWRA) Seaford Heights site have the capacity to generate up to 600 kilowatts of electricity.

When combined with the bio-gas power station this will generate 25,000 megawatts of electricity per year; enough to power more than 4400 homes each day in the site’s surrounding suburbs.

The power is fed into the SA Power Networks’ grid, reducing reliance on fossil fuels and cutting greenhouse gas emissions by up to an estimated 135,000 tonnes a year.

This means the site’s landfill is now emission neutral. The two systems represent a combined investment by LMS Energy of more than $12 million. The announcement comes as the bio-gas station marks its first year of operation.

SRWRA is a regional subsidiary established by Marion, Onkaparinga, and Holdfast Bay councils which operates waste management services on their behalf.

According to State Government’s Renewable Energy Atlas, more than 50 per cent of South Australia’s energy mix is created through renewable sources.  Bio-gas plants convert methane from decomposing organic waste, including food scraps, into electricity.

City of Onkaparinga Mayor Erin Thompson said the new hub would deliver significant benefits to the local environment and economy.

“This innovative project demonstrates how the three councils are responding to the impacts of climate change, reducing emissions and building community resilience.

“I’m excited to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and—through the under-construction SRWRA material recovery facility alongside the landfill site—also reduce our reliance on recycling companies,” Mayor Thompson said.

City of Marion Mayor Kris Hanna said council was pleased to be part of an innovative project that would protect the environment.

“Building an eco-friendly power station on landfill makes good use of wasteland. We are reducing pollution and indirectly getting a return for ratepayers at the same time. This project is an important collaboration with neighbouring Councils,” Mayor Hanna said.

City of Holdfast Bay Mayor Amanda Wilson said: “It is exciting to see the culmination of our combined environmental vision that will have both financial and environmental returns for our community. We are building a new national standard of excellence in green energy and we will continue to look at innovative ways to reduced emissions and build a circular economy”.

CEO of SRWRA Chris Adams said: “This is an important step in transforming the site into a resource recovery and sustainability centre that will benefit the community for generations”.