Consolidating and advancing the Cowra Biomass Project

Pending the outcomes of various funding channels we’ve investigated to advance the Cowra Biomass Project, CLEAN has been consolidating and planning ongoing aspects of the project.

We’ve been reviewing and finalising the pre-feasibility study.  As we work towards an investment-ready position, the project report for our Growing Community Energy grant has been approved by the Office of Environment and Heritage (OE&H), from whom we has also be seeking a Thriving Regional Networks tender. That’s building on the good traction already established with government agencies in the OE&H, Department of Primary Industries and NSW Trade and Investment.  

We’re about to begin testing levels of engagement in the investment sector and with environmental philanthropics, pertinent institutes and research centres nationally. Currently in the process of finalising on the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding with Cowra Council, we’re confident this will stand our future activities in good stead. In this regard we’re envisaging a public media event to demonstrate the potential of the project.  An aggregated feedstocks trial on-site in Cowra would serve the dual purpose of getting a report on the BMP (bio-methane potential) of various local waste aggregations, while demonstrating to locals, media and the political sector how this project will actually work.  Local farmers and other potential biomass contributors are raring to go, so we’re hoping to galvanise political interest while providing a clear hands-on demonstration to funding groups such as ARENA.

Simon Wright, a PhD research student linked with the Institute of Sustainable Futures and CSIRO has been conducting a series of interviews on community and sustainability networks connected with this project.  He’s interviewed about 30 people, from farmers to government agency individuals. Outcomes for this data analysis will provide good news stories and further online engagement for the project.  

As all this activity moves forward, we are reviewing some of the other funding angles available.  The material we’ve gathered for Advancing Renewables and other applications will be relevant to both our status as a small to medium size enterprise and around start-ups as well.   We’re hoping all this positive project development is not lost on our local state and federal members.

NB: Writer, journalist, Mick Daley has come on board in a communications role for CLEAN, writing our blogs and other material.