Australia-based biogas developer Utilitas Group is working to repurpose industrial sites in regional Australia to deliver cleaner, smarter and cheaper utility services.
Utilitas Group has just announced a partnership with Schneider Electric that will see it roll out 100 bioHubs in regional areas.
Its flagship Bundaberg bioHub is a 9.5-acre industrial site, which is repurposing the retired Bundaberg East Wastewater Treatment Plant into Australia’s first master planned bio-utilities precinct.
Schneider has been named as the official automation, digitisation and electrical technology partner. It has a global strategic interest in supporting the expansion of sustainable energy generation and improved energy efficiency leveraging its Ecostruxure technology to enable digitisation and automation. As an expert in the field the new partnership is a strong fit for the two brands.
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Schneider will commence work on developing the Dandenong bioHub, which is the second centre to be developed as part of Utilitas strategy to repurpose sites across regional areas. The model allows for tenants to then benefit from access to hyper-local renewable energy, water, waste and data services.
Schneider Electric digital services development manager Chris Nielsen said, “The proposed bioHub expansion plan is an exciting development for Australian renewable energy and circular economy markets. We are honoured to be part of the team at this early stage. Harnessing EcoStruxure, our Connected Assets, Edge Control and SCADA and Analytics architecture will enable Utilitas to increase the speed to market, release Opex efficiencies and drive digital twin enablement.”
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Utilitas is headed up by CEO Fiona Waterhouse, who was previously the director of strategic policy for the Queensland Environmental Protection Agency and has dedicated the last 10 years to developing sustainable infrastructure solutions.
Fiona said, “Utilitas Group is very excited to be working with Schneider Electric, delivering our UTG:100 vision. 100 bioHubs in 100 regional communities. This is an exciting period in our company’s history as we have spent a long time working behind the scenes to be able to introduce this type of renewable solution to the Australian market, which is relatively immature in comparison to other developed countries.
“Schneider is an important partner in our journey as they have a breadth of experience and knowledge to pull from projects like this already running across Europe.
“I am really looking forward to working together to start delivering renewable natural gas (RNG), biomethane and hydrogen, to secure our fuel, food and fertiliser supplies, existing and new jobs in our regions.”