Adelaide Installs Combined First Solar and Methane Power Plant

It is believed to be a first in Australia: the new combined solar and methane power plant in South Australia. The installation will channel thermal energy from solar panels and methane gas from decomposed garbage through a shared turbine inter-connector.

A generator will then convert the two sources of energy into electricity to be fed into the local grid. Chief Executive Adam Faulkner commented on the innovation: “It’s a two-pronged attack for turning our trash into treasure.”

The plant, managed by the Northern Adelaide Waste Management Authority, is planned to start exporting electricity in September. The gas produced from rotting garbage will act as the plant’s base-load power and will produce about 11,000 megawatt hours of electricity each year to power about 1,800 homes. The site’s 5,000 square meter sized solar panel farm is expected to produce about 2,000 megawatt hours of electricity each year, powering around 300 homes.

NAWMA and the local energy companies got together a couple of years ago. “That’s when we put our heads together and thought, if the gas side of the equation has been proven to work, let’s turn our minds to the unused portion of land next to the landfill site and use it as a solar farm”, Faulkner explained. South Australia has a goal of 50 percent renewables by 2025 and plans to make Adelaide the world’s first carbon neutral city by 2025. The state has become a hub for renewable energy recently, following Elon Musk’s announcement last month that Tesla will build the world’s biggest lithium-ion battery in South Australia before the end of the year.

Photo: NAWMA

GR 32017