In Australia, The Lead reports that cereal oat supplier Blue Lake Milling completed construction of its $8.1 million biogas plant last week enabling it to offset almost all its monthly energy costs. The mill processes more than 24,000 tons of oat husks each year as a production by-product, which until now was sold as stock feed, used as packing material or thrown away.
The new biogas plant converts the husks into bioenergy via anaerobic digestion.
Commercial projects manager Jeremy Neale said the plant would generate enough bioenergy to power both the plant and nearby homes. “Two-thirds of it will go to the mill, and the remaining third will be put back into the grid,” Neale said. “It’ll go a fair way to eliminating our electricity bill.”
As a 24-hour, five-day-a-week operation, the mill’s current monthly invoice totals about $80,000. Neale said issues with power reliability first sparked the need for an alternate source more than a decade ago. “Every time we’ve looked at doing an expansion, power was a limiting factor,” he said. “So the way around that is to obviously generate your own.”