INSPECTION OF LUCAS HEIGHTS POWER STATION
EDL Electricity Generating Plant at Menai Resource Recovery Facility.
This plant is beside what used to be known as the Menai Tip. A group of OFF members and others undertook a visit in conjunction with a visit to the adjacent Menai native plant nursery. The purpose of the operation is to draw methane from decomposing rubbish beneath the tip and channel it to the seventeen units which use the methane to drive generators for the production of electricity for the grid. The generator can produce enough electricity to serve 11000 homes.
We were presented with an excellent explanation of the plant by John and Brendon of the site management team. They explained how the methane was pumped from underground by a large number of gas wells distributed across the rubbish site then piped to the next-door power generation facility. Their explanation was in detail and in depth.
It is expected that significant amounts of gas will continue to be derived from rubbish over the final 15 years of the resource facility’s life, contributing energy to the grid and reducing the amount of methane that would otherwise escape to the environment. The visitors agreed that the visit was well worthwhile, improving our knowledge and understanding of a little known but valuable conservation facility.
INSPECTION OF MENAI ON-SITE NURSERY at Resource Recovery Facility
Prior to the above inspection, Lloyd Hedges, manager of the Menai Wildflower Group’s Propagation nursery at the Cleanaway Resource Recovery Park, explained the stages involved in producing 1000’s of tube-stock for various projects, such as “Glossies in the Mist” (30,000 trees already produced and planted in the Southern Highlands).
Seeds are first germinated in a mix of perlite and vermiculite; different techniques are required to start this process depending on the species, eg, pink flannel flowers need to be exposed to “smoke water”. After initial germination, plants are transplanted to tubes, which are then allowed to grow on in the greenhouse, where they are kept moist. Volunteers assist each Monday morning. New volunteers are always welcome. Contact Adrian Polhill 0424 478 498).