2017 Bioenergy Forum Conference and Field Tour

Bio Energy Victoria

This event has concluded


The Victorian Bioenergy Network, supported by Cultivate Agribusiness, is holding a two day forum, workshop and tour in Ararat on 11-12 September 2017.

The aim of the forum is to provide local government businesses, community groups and others interested in reducing their energy costs and environmental impact, and learning more about how bioenergy benefits us all.

On the second day of the forum, participants will have the option of either a half day ‘hands-on’ workshop on using their own energy data to produce bioenergy options for their particular energy needs, or they may choose to go on a bus tour of local bioenergy sites.


Day 1 - Forum
11th September 2017

  • Day 1 - Forum - 11th September 2017
    Guest speakers include:

    Andrew Lang - Vice President, World Bioenergy Association and Farm Forester
    Bioenergy basics – what is, how does it work, examples of existing plants and systems, discussion on potential opportunities

    Peter Burgess - Managing Director, Rainbow Bee Eater Pty Ltd
    ECHO2: gasification - base load, low cost energy and biochar from organic residues

    Kelly Wickham - Business Development Officer, Renewable Energy, DELWP
    Waste to Energy – a business case and government initiatives including the Australian Biomass Assessment – (ABBA)

    Daryl Scherger - Bioenergy Consultant
    Sizing up a bioenergy project, including Beaufort Hospital project case study

    Sohum Gandhi - General Manager, Enriva
    Experience with designing and building larger scale bioenergy systems in Victoria and across Australia

    Tony Stone - General Manager, Biogas Technology, Gekko Systems
    Overview of the Gekko Systems biodigester and progress with installation of biogas system at Bungaree dairy

    Shaun Quayle - Director, Dragon NRG
    Small scale thermal bioenergy systems, experience with local installations

    Taryn Lane - Community Energy Advocate and Consultant, Embark Setting up a community energy enterprise

    Steve Hobbs - Primary Producer, Yarrock Farms
    On-farm biofuel production and biomass briquetteing experience

    David Sproules – Business Banking Manager, Bendigo Bank Financing a community bioenergy project

    La Vergne Lehmann - Acting Executive Officer, The Grampians Central West Waste and Resources Recovery Group
    Waste resources for energy production in the Grampians Region

    Scott Grierson - Business Development and Transactions Specialist, Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)
    Funding opportunities for bioenergy and update on projects currently funded

Forum Dinner
7:00pm 11th September 2017

Alexandra Oval Community Centre Ararat, Victoria.

Delicious 3 course dinner, featuring the best of Ararat's locally grown produce.

This evening will provide a great opportunity for networking amongst Australia’s bioenergy luminaries, regional leaders and other renewable energy advocates.

Our speaker is John Sanderson from Earth Systems who will provide background on the development and progress with their Charmaker, which is currently generating energy and biochar via installations in both Australia and overseas. John will also reflect on his recent film making and pyrotechnics exploits!

Day 2 - Bioenergy Field Tour
12th September

Departing from and returning to Christians Bus Station, Barkly St. Ararat (near the Railway Station) and return by 5.00 pm at the latest. The full day bus tour will visit four sites in the region:

  • Beaufort Hospital – Participants will see a containerised 110kW Hargassner wood chip fuelled boiler system that supplies space heating for the hospital.  It has been operating for four years now.
  • Pyrenees Timber - This operating sawmill uses a 240kW Moderator boiler to provide heat for timber drying as well as drying chipped sawmill waste for boiler fuel.
  • KCC Recycling - This operation diverts timber waste from landfill and processes it into material suitable for boiler fuel.
  • Meredith Dairy - This well renowned goat dairy has installed a 240 kw biomass boiler to reduce reliance on LPG providing hot water for pasteurisation, washdown and domestic hot water within the factory.

    Tour hosts will explain the operation at each site and participants will have the opportunity to ask questions of site managers.

Bioenergy Workshop -
12th September
Alexandra Oval Community Centre Ararat, Victoria.

Workshop presenters: John Sanderson and Daryl Scherger

The purpose of this workshop is to equip participants with a basic understanding of how to design a bioenergy system for their community, business or home.  Participants will be guided through the basic calculations required to determine the types and amount of energy they need for their situation and the type of bioenergy system best suited to deliver that need. To gain the best value from the workshop, participants are invited to bring along energy data relevant to a project they are looking to develop.

It will be an interactive experience for participants, enabling them to work through ideas, issues and potential solutions with others.

The Workshop organiser will provide more information to participants prior to the workshop.


Forum, workshop and field tour registrations:
www.trybooking.com/RAYQ or www.trybooking.com/299432

Dinner registrations:
www.trybooking.com/RAYS or www.trybooking.com/299434



Day 1 Forum

$150, including lunch, morning and afternoon tea (50% discount for full time students).


$70 - three course meal – Ararat - 7pm

Day 2 - Tour

$90, including lunch, morning and afternoon tea (50% discount for full time students).

Day 2 - Workshop

$60, including lunch, morning and afternoon tea (50% discount for full time students).


Information on accommodation will be provided when you register.

Trade Stalls:

If you would like to discuss trade stall options, please contact Daryl Scherger, on 0497 609 944 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For further information:

Liz Hamilton
Victorian Bioenergy Network
P: 5235 8324
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.