Council looks to harvest untapped energy resource
ALPINE Council will look to use the waste from pine harvesting to generate heat and energy for a business or community facility in the shire.
Council plans to assess the potential and develop a business case to use the branches and offcuts from harvesting operations to lower their overall carbon emissions.
Council’s manager for planning and amenity Heather Green said burning off plantation residue near communities could cause localised air pollution problems and was a concern brought forward by residents in the past.
Ms Green said council will work in partnership with HVP Plantations on the Alpine Shire Plantation Waste to Energy Project.
“This project is a way that council can help lower overall shire carbon emissions while addressing a concern in the community,” she said.
“Currently HVP burns post- harvest plantation residue on site.
“The energy created through postharvest burning is released directly into the atmosphere.
“This project will generate the knowledge we need to understand if there is potential to make use of plantation residue to generate energy.”
HVP Northern Region silviculture manager Richard Mailer welcomed the project as a way to explore the possibility of reducing the environmental impact of plantation residue management.
The first stage of the project will funded by a Victorian Government Climate Change Grant.
The 2015 grants were designed to support local government in adapting to climate change.
The Victorian Government has also introduced a wide-ranging emissions reduction pledge program for the private, government and community sectors.