COUNCIL has tapped in to a methane supply at the tip big enough to power 800 households.
It has been more than 12 months since Tamworth Regional Council first drilled into the Forest Road tip to see how much gas could be captured as a potential power supply.
Council is now investigating the cost of a number of projects which could benefit from the supply.
“We’re producing upwards of 400 cubic metres of gas, which is where we thought we would be,” manager of waste operations Dan Coe told The Leader.
He said it has been “really viable” in terms of power generation, however there are already plans to capture even more gas.
“What we were hoping to get to was around a megawatt generator,” he said.
Mr Coe said it would be enough to power 1200 houses.
“Consultants have been saying we need to be producing about 600 cubic metres of gas,” he said
“We’re probably two-thirds of the way there.
“There’s money allocated to expand the well-field, so we’re hoping, next year, we’ll be able to get to those sort of numbers.”
Mr Coe said council had begun investigating ways the power could be used in the community.
“There’s a lot of options there,” he said.
“It could be power back to the grid, it could be power to the hospital, it could be a gas supply to heat a new swimming pool.
“At the moment, the council staff are looking at all those options, trying to cost-out how much that is going to be.”
Mr Coe said the infrastructure installed at the tip should stay-put for at least the next 20 years.
“The landfill is here for the next 40 or 50 years, depending on how we resource-recovery things,” he said.
“As we put more waste in, there should be more waste produced, so things become more viable in terms of beneficial reuse down the track.”
An early study estimated the establishment of the landfill-to-hospital connection would come in at more than $1.2 million and would require council to operate and maintain high-voltage electrical assets.