Tomatoes on a conveyor.

The Victorian Government is set to invest more than $8 million across 24 bioenergy projects to create renewable energy from organic waste that would otherwise end up in landfill.

The funding has been provided through the Waste to Energy – Bioenergy Fund which is supporting farming and food production, and other industry sectors to turn organic waste – including agricultural, livestock, food and wood waste – into electricity, heat, gas, or liquid fuel.

The funding will support a broad range of Victorian businesses to transition their operations to renewable energy and drive down their emissions.

The projects are forecast to boost Victoria’s renewable energy capacity by an additional 6.82MW, enough to power 3,410 homes with renewable energy.

Goulburn Valley tomato grower, Katunga Fresh, has received a $1 million grant. This will mean Katunga Fresh can turn spent tomato plants into a gas that will be used to heat their glasshouses, with excess gas returned to the grid.

Another project will see major dairy business, Australian Consolidated Milk, convert cheese whey waste into biogas that will be used to power its dairy manufacturing plant, reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

Funded projects will create up to 192 short term jobs and 29 long term jobs – and new revenue streams for Victoria’s primary producers.

Victorian Minister for Environment, Ingrid Stitt, said this is a significant boost to Victoria’s bioenergy sector and sends a strong signal to industries of the critical role waste to energy has towards achieving Victoria’s goals to reduce emissions.

“These funded projects will create regional jobs and income streams for farmers, while increasing Victoria’s bioenergy generating capacity by over 6.8MW,” Ms Stitt said. 

“This is a win for cutting the amount of waste we send to landfill, a win for generating more renewable energy in Victoria, and a win in helping drive down our emissions.”

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