This information bulletin provides further information about the Waste to Energy Fund: Bioenergy for Stream 1: Project development not covered in the Guidelines.
On this page
Answers to questions we receive at our information sessions and via phone and email are published on this page. We only publish answers to questions that are not already covered in the Guidelines.
We will update this page as we receive questions.
On Tuesday 12 June, Sustainability Victoria held an information session on Stream 1: Project development of the Waste to Energy Fund: Bioenergy. The session provided an overview of the Fund, project eligibility, the application process and an outline of steps to take before making a submission.
This video shows one speaker presenting at the Waste to Energy Fund: Bioenergy Information Session for Stream 1: Project development on 12 July 2022.
The Sustainability Victoria presenters are:
[Opening visual of slide with text saying ‘Please wait, your info session will begin shortly’]
[The visuals during this webinar are of Matthew Nelson presenting via video, with reference to the content of a PowerPoint presentation being played on screen]
[Visual of slide with text saying ‘Waste to Energy Fund – Bioenergy Information Session’, ‘Stream 1: Project development’, ‘Matthew Nelson’, ’12 July 2022’, ‘Sustainability Victoria’]
Hi everybody. Welcome. Thank you for joining us today. We will begin in just one more minute. We’ll let everybody just get into the info session here today. Appreciate you making the time with us. Great.
Hi everybody. Thank you for joining us today to talk about the recently opened $10 million Waste to Energy Bioenergy Fund. On behalf of Sustainability Victoria, I’d like to welcome you. My name is Matt Nelson. I lead Sustainability Victoria’s Waste to Energy Team and today I will be taking you through today’s info session on Stream 1 of the Waste to Energy Bioenergy Fund. I will also be joined by my team today who will be working in the background to answer some of your questions and change some of the presentations that you see on screen.
We are very grateful you’ve taken time out of your day to learn more about the fund and how you can participate and be ready to apply. But before we get into the details of Stream 1, I really quickly just want to outline how this session is going to work so you can make the most of it to leave today knowing what you need to do, who to contact and where to find the information of the Fund.
To begin I would like to start by acknowledging the Wurundjeri Woiwurrung people who are the traditional custodians of the land from which I am joining you today from my home in Montmorency, Victoria. I pay my respects to their Elders past and present. I also pay my respects to the traditional custodians of the lands from which you are all joining us today. I acknowledge that we live and work on the lands of the world’s oldest and most sustainable culture. I acknowledge the deep connection to the earth of the First Nation’s people over the past 60,000 years and their invaluable contributions to our understanding of climate change and the environment.
So great. I hope you are here today to learn more about Stream 1 of the Bioenergy Fund with us today. If you are interested in Stream 2 Project Infrastructure that session is on tomorrow.
With that in mind I wanted to let you know that my goal today and expectation for you with this session is that you leave knowing more about the Fund and where to find information. I really want you to understand how to participate and know who to talk to for questions and support after the session. All of the information that I’m going to talk you through today is available on the SV website on the Grants page for the Bioenergy Fund.
There you will also see how to contact Sustainability Victoria for support, how to apply and what comes next. One of my key take home messages today is that you know how to contact Sustainability Victoria after this session for support. And the focus of this session will be on highlighting some of the key areas within those guidelines so that you know what you need to focus on to help you submit a strong application. We will go a little bit over the application process and how you can create a SmartyGrants account to preview and submit your application.
We will then talk about how and when applications are evaluated and how successful projects are awarded and how you will be notified. We will also go over what support is available to you a number of times just so it’s clear and you have good accessibility to our team.
Just an aside. It is recommended you start the application process early. Start talking to the people you work with and your networks now. Ballpark some ideas, talk to some potential partners and understand your environmental and legal responsibilities as well to help you be placed to put in a good application. Check in for guidance and support to test your ideas and there are also a number of consultants that you can look to for support if you need it.
But we want you to leave today with a solid understanding of what you need to consider and plan for if you are going to submit an application to us on the closing date of 26th of August.
All right. Before I jump into the details, I just wanted to quickly go through how today’s going to work so you can really get the most out of your experience and time with us. We will be recording the session and it will be posted under the Information Bulletin for this grant and I will talk a little bit about where that info is later.
So, I really wanted to quickly talk about how you can best ask questions today because that’s probably the most important part of the day. We are going to go over a lot of information and you are going to hear me talking for the first part of it. This is a Teams live event and it might look different to some of you who have joined us for online meetings previously. I will be the only one talking and have video available for today. So, the way that you can interact with our team to take questions on, if you look at the top of your screen, you’ll see a Q&A box highlighted. If you click on that you will be able to chat with us and everyone else here by submitting your questions. And we will be taking on any questions you have about the fund and application process.
Our team is going to take things on board today and we will try to either answer in the Chat directly, later on in our dedicated Q&A time or we’ll take some questions on notice and get back through some of the SV Fund communications.
So again, type your question into the Q&A Chat box and our team behind the scenes will be approving questions that are about the Bioenergy Fund. We acknowledge that even though we are part of the Victorian Government I am not going to talk today about any detail about other Department policy or other regulations as that is not our authority at Sustainability Victoria. I will be providing some advice about what you should consider when applying to the Fund, but you are required to do your own due diligence to know your legal responsibilities.
So, while I’ll be talking to you for a while at the start we’re going to finish the session with a Q&A and I encourage you to ask questions as we go along. But you might want to as well just wait until we go through the info and see if I answer any questions as well. But if in doubt write your question down on the side or put it into the Chat box. And then ongoing the best way to get support is through our email of the SV Grants team that you see on this here.
Now quickly before we get into the more chunkier nuts and bolts of things today, filling out the application and the process, I want to make sure you know where to find all of the information I’m going to talk to today. It’s great that you found here the Eventbrite link to come into our session today. All of the information is on the SV website at the very top in a banner in bold titled Grants Funding and Investment. If you click through to Grants and Funding, you will see all of the currently open SV Grants that are available for you. Here you will find the Bioenergy Fund guidelines specific to each of the two streams of the Fund and today we are here to talk about Stream 1 and the process for applying.
So, the Waste to Energy Bioenergy Fund is going to support Victorian industries like farming and agriculture, food production and manufacturing and local government and water corporations turn organic waste into renewable energy. This is important as by 2030 the Government aims to have the organic waste sent to landfill as outlined in the Circular Economy Policy Recycling Victoria that you see on the screen here today. I encourage you to go read that if you have not.
SV and other Victorian Government agencies are also working with industry towards a 40% renewable energy capacity target by 2025 and 50% by 2030. Recycling Victoria is a $380 million action plan and investment that is transforming Victoria’s resource recovery sector. Recycling Victoria brought forward the Waste to Energy Framework that a lot of you might be familiar with. This was released after extensive consultation with industry by the Victorian Government in November 2021. It outlines the proposed policy approach to a licencing system to cap the amount of permitted waste that certain thermal waste to energy facilities can process.
Largely speaking the framework proposes to exempt waste that is waste biomass. This waste would be able to be processed by thermal waste to energy facilities and would not require a cap licence. This waste is the focus of the Bioenergy Fund, waste biomass. Further information will be provided later on about the Bioenergy Fund eligibility including the waste streams. We look forward to seeking your proposals through the Bioenergy Fund that will support achievement of these aims and increase Victoria’s renewable energy strengthening capacity.
So, the current global transition to renewable energy brings tremendous opportunities for Victoria. The $10 million Bioenergy Fund supports Victoria in realising these opportunities to turn organic waste including feedstocks of agriculture, livestock, food, and garden wood waste into renewable energy. The Fund will help businesses bring forward sustainable alternatives to natural gas, help to reduce bills and cut down on our collective carbon emissions. This Fund is all about increasing access to renewable energy options in Victoria from organic biomass waste. As long as regulatory conditions can be met the Fund will support a wide range of industries to do this which are detailed further in the Fund Guidelines that I encourage you to read after today’s session.
The Fund will support applications for both Streams across feasibility studies, case studies and new infrastructures from industries that use waste and manure from poultry, dairy, piggeries, and other animal operations, use general food and garden waste from commercial and industrial operations, use forestry wood residues from forest harvesting and processing wood as a feedstock, for processing biosolid sewage and sludge waste, and other criteria as outlined further in the Fund Guidelines.
So, I encourage you to contact the SV Grants team after today’s session and reading through the Fund Guidelines for further details if required about your project. The Fund will prioritise projects that increase jobs, create new economic opportunities, and bring forward renewable energy options while developing safe end uses for the residual products created by a bioenergy process.
So, with that in mind let’s jump in to why we’re really here today, to talk about some of the key details of Stream 1 that I want you to know, where you can get more information and support, and some of the approaches and things you consider before applying.
So, bioenergy technologies like you all probably appreciate are generally well established and the ways of converting biomass around the world into bioenergy are numerous. As such we have designed a fund that allows for innovative project proposals by designing eligibility requirements to really let the market tell us what’s leading edge and best practice and what should be in Victoria. This Fund aims to help people wherever they are in their project lifecycle to further develop and realise their bioenergy projects. It will be for early seed funding and more established projects as well via the different Streams.
So, there are two Streams available for funding. Each has specific funding ranges available. Each Stream also has different conditions and type of projects that would be funded. Each also has different contribution requirements. For example, Stream 1 that you’re here today has an exception for not for profit organisations, charities, community groups, cooperatives and research institutions for the contribution requirements. However, we want you to know even though there’s two Streams the evaluation for process will be the same. Applications will be assessed on their own merit and made available to the $10 million based on the scored ranking. An independent assessment panel outside of SV’s Waste to Energy Team will be evaluating and scoring applications using the Stream criteria. The guidelines for each Stream are available on the SV Grants page I spoke of earlier and will be sent to you after the session, so you have it. The guidelines have all of the funding and eligibility requirements for each stream in more detail. So again, I encourage you to reach out early to the SV Grants team once you’ve gotten to the guidelines to ask any specific questions to your project that you have.
Okay. So now we are going to look closer at what will be funded in Stream 1 project development.
When considering what is in scope to receive funding from Sustainability Victoria in Stream 1 you really need to take a close look at what type of materials and processes your project will be used to produce bioenergy. In a real simplistic manner if you do not recover and process organic material you are ineligible for the Fund. As mentioned earlier this Fund is all about processing waste biomass. If your project requires a waste to energy cap licence in the framework it is also out of scope for the Fund.
So, one of the first things you can do today and one of your main responsibilities is to conduct a self-assessment of the Waste to Energy Framework to understand how the materials and processes of your project fit into those conditions for eligibility to the Fund. It is also a good idea to think now about any other regulatory or planning approvals your project might need and this is applicable to both Streams.
So do your due diligence now. Start early and get into the guidelines and understand what you need to do.
And if you have any questions, you really should contact the SV Grants team as it relates to your project after you’ve read both the guidelines and done that self-assessment. And for a full list of what will be funded please refer to the Grant Guidelines section 2.3 of each Stream.
Right. Let us talk a little bit now about Stream 1 eligibility requirements and what will be funded, what costs can be included and how to know if your project best fits here. Stream 1 is focused on supporting applicants to scope, test, and gain approvals to achieve preconstruction and pre‑financial close of a bioenergy project. The type of activities that will be funded through Stream 1 include feasibility studies, technical studies, and business case development amongst others. We refer you to the guidelines for the full list.
If you are at a point in your project that you are ready to either purchase, install or commission infrastructure this is not the right Stream for you. We would encourage you to have a look at Stream 2 and join our information session tomorrow.
So, some of the sectors, materials and processes eligible for funding are shown on this screen but it’s not the complete list. We refer you to our guidelines for that.
So, Stream 1 overall is for smaller scale projects in the development stage. As such they have a lower overall project cap available than Stream 2. For Stream 1 each project can receive a grant of between $20,000 and $250,000 exclusive of GST. So also think about the size and the scale of your project when you are thinking about your project’s eligibility for Stream 1.
So, these are some of the costs that would be considered for Stream 1 eligibility. It is a wide range. We put a list out there to let the market come to us and have reference to this list to fit within that. So, this Stream is all about supporting early development like I said. And it is not about financing the purchase or installation of infrastructure. If you have any questions after you read through the guidelines, please contact the Grants SV team for project specific eligibility questions.
So, let us now talk a little bit about eligible applicants. I am not going to spend too much time on this other than to say we really tried to keep it as open as possible to encourage a transparent and inclusive approach for people to apply for our Fund. We want to encourage and attract as many great ideas from the market as we can both innovative and proven through this Fund, to work with you to develop Victoria’s bioenergy sector. We want to hear from the market about what the best solutions are to produce bioenergy in Victoria. You tell us. As long as you fit into the conditions of the Fund, we look forward to seeing what you bring to us.
So funding is available to applicants that meet the Waste to Energy Framework conditions and propose to generate bioenergy using organic waste materials in Victoria and that you can demonstrate to us that you have considered other solutions along the waste hierarchy, and this is the best value option available to you. Again, for further details I encourage you to read through the Fund Guidelines and give the SV Grants team an email.
Okay. Now we’re probably going to hone in on if there’s one thing you need to look at in the guidelines to base your application on it’s to have a very close look on the assessment criteria. These are very specific criteria questions that everybody will be marked against. The weightings of the criteria will be your main guide as to where you should provide longer answers and focus your attention to. Be specific and informative as possible to demonstrate how your project meets the different criteria. So, the team has gone with the classic what, who, how and why. Pretty self‑explanatory. These criteria details are further expressed in the Fund Guidelines, and you’ll see this in the application as well.
So, our expectation of the grant is that it’s going to be a pretty well subscribed Fund. So, we encourage everyone to be precise with their project details and rationale against the criteria. Make every word count. Ask questions. Contact SV beforehand. The evaluation panel has clear instructions only to consider what is in your application and to look at how well you speak to the criteria there.
So real quickly I want to unpack probably the biggest weighting of the criteria is the what. In this section you need to look at demonstrating how the project meets the key objectives and criteria of the Fund. It is important to demonstrate that the project is viable and will create the outcomes the Fund is trying to achieve. Think about what you are doing. What is the impact of the project? Why is it important? What will it achieve? What will be the larger impacts this project brings to Victoria and the sector? So, these are some of the things you can think about during the what section.
In this section we want to know about your project team. We want you to demonstrate to us that your team has the required skills, resources and knowledge and experience to deliver this project. What experience do you have in waste to energy already? Do you have any experience in renewable energy program planning, execution, and delivery? Talk about that. Talk about the experiences the team has in delivering similar infrastructure projects. We would be looking for details on what these projects were and what the project outcomes were and also who was involved in making it happen.
Okay. The 20% of the how. In this section we want you to demonstrate how is the project going to be delivered? What are some of the key project details and considerations that you are going to put in your application again to show the panel how the project will be delivered? What is your project plan? This is your opportunity to express to the panel that you have the project management knowledge in terms of how a project is delivered. What steps and hurdles have you thought about and what is required to make this project happen? Ensure you have demonstrated consideration and planning for all of the potential project’s requirements, necessary approvals and conditions that you need to achieve to be eligible. Show us this key information.
And finally, we have the why.
Why is this project needed? In this section we need you to tell us why this is important.
We want to know why financial assistance is needed from the Government. What benefits is this project going to provide not only to your immediate issue but to the sector at large? How does it align to the priorities of the Government?
Talk about how receiving funding from the Bioenergy Fund for this project will help you succeed. Explain potential outcomes or impacts with and without Government support. What are the long-term benefits to Victoria this project will bring? Think outside of your own project about how this improves Victoria’s bioenergy sector at large. And where you can support all statements with evidence.
One of the unique features of Sustainability Victoria’s grants is that we have a function of infrastructure investment support available to you.
And we encourage you to reach out for any clarification or advice through the SV Grants team as your first point of call. Once you have read the guidelines and opened your application and put your ideas down, I recommend that you engage with this free investment support services before submitting your application on their email you can see on this screen right here. We will also send that to you.
On this screen you can see some of the areas of your application they can assist and guide you with. I just want to make note that this investment facilitation support service is separate and removed from the panel evaluation scoring process. Use of the service does not guarantee any level of success with any application, but it will definitely help you tighten up some of the areas you see on the screen here. So, get in contact with them early after you’ve read all the information and sort of evolved your project.
So, I just quickly want to go over some of the key dates. I think the most important one for the context of where we are at now on this timeline is that everybody knows the fund closes on Friday the 26th
of August. I really want to encourage you to start your application early. Do not wait until the last minute to seek advice or submit it.
We do not want to see any technical issues limit your application being accepted. And that will let you make the best use of the infrastructure support services and grants team if you contact them early. Test your ideas out, have people you know read over your application and provide feedback. And again, contact SV for clarification or support. Do your due diligence during this time. Do your self-assessment if required. Contact the local planning authorities and contact EPA during this time.
The Fund aims to announce successful projects in early 2023 with projects required to be completed by March 2025. This will give projects two years to be completed.
Right. Now I just want to go over the mechanics of how you actually apply. This is sort of independent of Fund advice here and a process of using SmartyGrants. Hopefully, many of you have used SmartyGrants previously but if not it’s very easy to start an account and get into it. So, to start your application you will need to create an account in the SmartyGrants. This is done through the Sustainability Victoria web page. Instructions for SmartyGrants are on the first page of the application so it is hopefully pretty each for you to follow. Once you submit your application you will receive an email acknowledging your application has been received by Sustainability Victoria. If you do not receive this, please contact the SmartyGrants technical support or our Grants team.
To help you out you can preview and download the application prior to starting to help you look at the questions and discuss with your team. Ensure that your organisation can apply by looking at the eligibility requirements of the Fund and that your collaborative partners if you have any are suitable and that your project qualifies. Also read Sustainability Victoria’s Short Term Funding Agreement. You must agree to and meet all of the terms and conditions to be eligible to receive funding. And also, good to read our Terms of Participation in the Grants Program as well. So, give SmartyGrants a go. It is pretty straightforward from my experience. I hope you find it the same. And if you do have any questions or trouble along the way, contact the SV Grants team. So that’s why I encourage you to even just go in and make your SmartyGrants account this week, so you know it’s going to run smooth for you as you put your application together over the next couple of weeks.
I want to talk a little bit now about how you as a potential applicant can write a competitive application.
A great resource you can reach out for here – and we will send you this web link – the Victorian Government has a very good website around how you can put your project ideas into the words and styles of a grant application. Grant applications ask for very specific and concise information and our grant has a limited text word box. So, following these steps on this screen as well are some key tips to writing a clear and concise grant application.
What it gets down to is really making sure you put in specific and detailed information wherever possible. The better information you provide the easier you will make it for the panel to evaluate your application. Again, focus on the criteria. Demonstrate how your project will achieve the Fund goals. The clearest picture you can present of what your project does and accomplishes the better. Use your words well as we have a template with fixed fields. And again, the earlier you do your due diligence and give yourself time to submit your application the better. Applicants historically often have sent applications in at the last minute to SV and this can potentially impact any incomplete or missing information. So, you want to give yourself the best potential chance available. Again, be clear and concise in writing your application. Make every word count.
Okay. Before we go onto question time, I just want to talk about the next steps following today’s session and some of the key things you can do this week now to really set yourself up for success. So again, visit the SV Grants web page and read the guidelines for the Stream you’re going to apply for. Read them in detail. Focus on those Stream criteria that I pointed out earlier. Take some time to get your SmartyGrants account set up now so that you can read the application in detail and start your thinking early and start to understand all the requirements and due diligence you need to check off. Have a read of the Waste to Energy Framework and complete a self-assessment of your project to understand your requirements there. And again, contact SV for any clarification or support. Aim to submit your application earlier than 26th
of August to allow some time up your sleeve.
Okay everybody. That was real quickly me running through all of the information with you. We’re going to take a quick three minute break to allow you to have a stretch while we get set up for question time. So I’ll invite you all back to be here. I’ll start question time from the Q&A box that are on the Chat and some questions sent in to us at 11:36. Thanks everybody. Talk to you in three minutes.
I see a lot of questions were answered on the Chat already which is fantastic. I’m just going to start real quickly. I will go through a lot of those just to make sure the points are clear as well and also just remind everybody that you can email SV Grants team for further information and clarity on any questions you have.
So, we have a question here that’s:
Q: Can you please explain a bit more about the cap licence that are out of scope?
Sure. I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this, but the Victorian Government released the Waste to Energy Framework in November of last year and we’ll send you this document as well. It articulates out materials that will require a licence to be permitted to be processed thermally to turn that waste into energy. And there’s certain materials that qualify in the permitted category and this is mostly the municipal solid waste residual red bin material. And then certain conditions need to be met for other materials in that Stream. Really only any organic material out of that sector is eligible if conditions are met. We will send you some more information on that as well. There is a good level of information on the websites around that and with Recycling Victoria that just got announced recently too.
Let’s see. We have another question.
Q: Are Government organisations and agencies eligible?
If you are a business with an ABN, yes, and can support with the contributions. That is fine.
Let’s see. A question was:
Q: What should be considered a cash contribution? Should it be the university whom researchers are working with or industry partners that the waste is going to be used?
Yeah. Good question there. Look in this situation it would most likely be the university, the people who are actually going to be implementing the technology or the solution. However, if you submit an application on a partnership-based level there’s nothing to discount you putting in partner contributions if that makes sense. So, you can make sort of a cumulative contribution with your partners involved in it.
So, this is an interesting question.
Q: Can the funding apply to an existing pyrolysis project that currently does not have a renewable electricity generation element?
So, this Fund is not for retrospective projects. This is for new and emerging projects to come online over time. Contact us in particular though so we can verify where you’re at with your project development.
Q: Is there a list of consultants available for north-east Victoria to assist with bioenergy feasibility studies?
So, we don’t necessarily have a list of consultants available in north-east Victoria, but we can work with you through our Grants team to help you Google that information. But we don’t have a list because we don’t have an exhaustive list. So, we don’t want to really kind of get into a position and say we’re advocating this group over that group. But there’s a number of consultants and associations in Victoria you can reach out to.
We are going to be doing feasibility studies to a high level of waste streams, outputs, and stakeholders in those areas though.
And hopefully that will help you narrow down your location and waste streams.
So, we have another question here come in.
Q: I’m looking at partnering with a business with a technical background in biomass boilers focusing on wood waste.
Q: Does SV provide networking opportunities for some interest in this partnership?
Yeah. Look we will reach out to you after the fact but contact the Grants team and our investment support services for that one in particular. That’s a perfect case of going to the investment support address that I gave you earlier.
I’m scrolling up here real quick everybody. A little patience. Just looking at all the questions. I think my team in the back has hopefully answered everything.
Q: Are 'in-kind' contributions counted towards the payment?
Yeah. Really just want to point out again in-kind contributions for this Fund are not counted. It must be cash for cash.
So that question around the feasibility study.
Look if you can produce a full design as much as possible the better. Obviously, it gets down to when I was talking about the information you supply in your application. Clear and concise, as much as possible, as much evidence as possible. But again, Daniel reach out to our Grants team and support services and they’ll be able to kind of supply you advice on that one.
And thanks Harry. We’ll reach out to you after the fact here for that one, your question.
The last question Harry put in around partnerships with wood waste and networking opportunities.
We had one here.
Q: Can my project apply for both streams?
That’s a great question. A project can only apply for one Stream. Okay? An applicant can apply for multiple Streams though and multiple projects. If I as Matt Nelson’s Dairy Farm want to apply to this Fund, there’s nothing limiting me putting in five different proposals as long as they’re for different projects if that makes sense. Hopefully, it does.
Look here’s an interesting one right everyone. The buzz word is diverting waste from landfill.
Q: My project does not divert waste from landfill necessarily. Can I still apply?
The short answer is yes. We have a couple of objectives of the Fund, and I just want to point out that it says you must reach one of these.
Really this fund is all around producing bioenergy. It is about bioenergy production just as much as it is around landfill waste diversion. If you can do both in one even better.
Yep Jarvid. Thanks. Keep your questions coming in folks. Happy to answer them as they come in too. Look Jarvid that’s a question for you really. The lead applicant can do that, or you can get your partners to cover it.
At the end of the day as long as your project can meet that contribution level, we’re happy to see that tick box done.
So we just had a question around what the Funds will cover. We just want to make it clear staff funding is not eligible for this. If you bring on new consultants to guide you there’s eligibility there but this will not retroactively cover any costs such as staffing, rental costs and things of that nature. And that’s clearly outlined in our Fund guidelines as well about what won’t be funded.
I’ll just go up through some more comments here.
Okay Jarvid you had a question around research questions. They’re eligible for funding especially the Stream 1. Stream 1 is perfectly suited for research projects.
Yep. And we had Sugi, my teammate answered the question about biomass boilers are eligible if certain conditions are met. Have a look at the wood waste definition in regulation 8 of the Renewable Energy Regulations for that’s details. It is also available on our Fund Guidelines as well. And yep, hospitals can apply. Again, we’re quite indifferent to who can apply. We want to see the best ideas come forward.
Yes. Stream 1. Fruit and wholesale businesses. Definitely you’re eligible to apply for Stream 1 or Stream 2.
And yeah, look the lead applicant contributing financially or the partners. Again, that’s a key motive. We just want to see that contribution is met in your application. That’s a decision for your project team around how you arrange finances.
Look awesome. Last final question. At this stage there’s nothing planned however the success of this Fund, not only the interest level of applicants coming in, it will help us advocate back to Government to release more funding for bioenergy projects. Because at Sustainability Victoria we realise how important they are to increase those renewable energy targets, transition away from natural gas. A lot of work kind of behind the scenes and upfront policy coming up is in this space so we are quite hopeful that there will be more funding available in the future however at this stage the short answer is no. So, make the most of the $10 million you have available right now to get your project ideas funded.
Look my team has just also said at the end of the day – this is around the funding contributions of the partners – at the end of the day the responsibility is on the lead applicant. Okay? You are the one arranging and in charge of your application, so you need to make sure that everything is sound and square and signed off and meets your standards before you supply.
I am unaware of any consultants specifically around bioenergy feasibility studies. However, there are some great associations. I would encourage you to reach out to Bioenergy Australia for some assistance in that space. Great question.
And at this stage we do not have a list of consultants that we recommend. As a Government agency we need to be agnostic and careful around making a list of who you should recommend to talk to. But I will say contact Bioenergy Australia or the Waste Management Resource Recovery Australia to seek that advice.
Yeah. Great question. Feasibility studies on hydrogen technology. Look if you meet the conditions of the Fund that is fine. That will be included.
And as long as it’s in line with other regulations.
Look I will hold the questions open for about two more minutes if we get any more in through the Chat. Hopefully though you have written down questions off to the side and you’ll be contacting our Grants team.
Look we had another one come in.
Q: Is a project focused on removing hazardous waste from industrial landfill eligible?
Hazardous waste is not eligible for this Fund.
We have got some more coming in.
Yeah. We have a question.
Q: Is anerobic digestion of organics to produce methane eligible to install a small bit of technology to test viability in urban areas in partnership with the council?
That’s great. Reach our to our Grants team. Generally speaking, anerobic digestion of organic material is eligible for funding but I’d encourage you to reach out to our Grants team just to talk through your project details more to make sure it qualifies. And again, do your due diligence. Read through the guidelines.
And again, we’re not so super concerned around output focused as much as we are on the type of material that is your feedstock and the process that you’re using to turn that feedstock into bioenergy. And bioenergy can have a number of type products if you would.
I’m working through. Let’s see. We have another one.
Q: Can funding be sought for the closure of this project’s finalisation from initial concept?
Yeah. Definitely. So again contact the SV Grants team just to have a chat with them or the Grants support facilitation so they can understand where you are at in your project lifecycle. So, the Fund has been designed to support early entrance into the Fund, people that have ideas but haven’t articulated that into a feasibility study or business case, but then also for people that have a proven business case and just need assistance purchasing technology. If it is just around purchasing technology Stream 2 is more appropriate for you.
Okay folks. Great questions. Let’s see.
I think we’ve touched on all of them.
Yeah. Matt just reach out to our Grants team to clarify where you’re at in your project lifecycle. Okay? But the short answer is yes but some more information will help give you a definitive answer there.
Okay folks. I’m going to close questions there just with that caveat to encourage you as much as possible keep feeding through to our Grants team any questions that you might have.
So that is going to conclude question time with us about the Bioenergy Fund. Hopefully, the questions that our team answered in the Chat here were helpful. Looks like we got over 30 which is fantastic. I hope my answers were okay. We will get back for some clarification on state government agencies applying from our legal team. So just watch this space for that. We will provide an update on that.
So, I hope you have found this information useful. Again, please reach out to the SV Grants team. I can’t reiterate to do this as much as possible once you get stuck into the details of your application for any further clarification or support. Do your due diligence and homework early. Talk to your project team. Understand your obligation and conditions of the Fund and any other eligibility checks and balances you will need to tick off. Do that self-assessment of the waste to energy framework.
So, thank you for joining us today everybody. I hope you found this information session well and answered some of your questions. But most importantly we talked about the Fund Guidelines that are available on the SV website. We talked about the eligibility criteria for you to look at. We talked about starting a SmartyGrants application, starting that early so you are well ahead to give yourself every chance of success. And we also talked around reaching out to the SV Grants team and to the SV infrastructure facilitation support to help you.
So good luck. I wish you well. And please keep those questions coming into our Grants team. And we look forward to seeing your applications. And for people that want to join for Stream 2 info session tomorrow I would encourage you to do that as well. We will be talking a little bit in more detail in some of the eligibility requirements for infrastructure purchase. It will be a lot of repeat of what we’re talking about today.
Let’s see. Grease trap waste. I think that is considered hazardous waste. I will confirm that though and provide that on our Information Bulletin.
Thanks everybody. Have a nice day and thank you again for joining us.
[Closing visual of slide with text saying ‘Thank you’, ‘Grants.Enquiries@sustainability.vic.gov.au’, ‘f @SustainVic’, ‘T @SustainVic’, ‘In Sustainability Victoria’, ‘Sustainability Victoria’, ‘Victoria State Government’]
[End of Transcript]
Thank you for your questions at the information session. Due to the high volume of questions received, some have been re-worded to benefit as many potential applicants as possible.
This page will be regularly updated, based on questions we receive.
In this section:
Are state government agencies like public hospitals eligible to apply?
Yes, state government agencies are eligible to apply for this fund. Please indicate in the application if the government entity is a Lead Applicant or project partner.
Is plantation forestry residue permitted (native but not indigenous species)?
Yes, plantation forestry residue is eligible to apply if it is a biomass from native forestry or a wood waste as defined under Regulation 8 of Renewable Energy (Electricity) Regulations 2001. Please complete a self-assessment of the waste to energy framework to test your projects specific conditions.
Are partnerships between government and business eligible?
Yes, partnerships between government and business are eligible to apply. Please list the Lead Applicant who applies for the funding. This party is responsible for the contractual obligations under the funding agreement with Sustainability Victoria (SV) if successful for grant funding. List all the project partners who have a financial stake in the project.
Are projects for biomass boilers eligible to apply?
Yes, projects for biomass boilers are eligible to apply under specific conditions.
Please check if your feedstock is listed under the scope of our funding. If you are using wood waste, wood waste must be as defined by Regulation 8 of Renewable Energy (Electricity) Regulations 2001.
Complete a self-assessment of your project with the waste to energy framework to understand how your project complies.
Is investigating the uses of waste generated by Energy from Waste (EfW) such as, biochar, ash, or anaerobic digestate in scope?
Yes, research to develop safe end uses of residual products (digestate and biochar only) is eligible for funding. Ash is not eligible.
Is grease trap waste considered food manufacturing and processing waste?
Yes, grease trap waste (mix of water, oil, grease and organic sludge) is considered food manufacturing and processing waste. Please note that grease trap waste is classified as a reportable priority waste by the EPA. We recommend you understand your environmental obligations, seek clarification from the EPA and perform due diligence on your compliance requirements.
Is abattoir waste like paunch or offal (residuals from slaughterhouses) an eligible feedstock?
Yes, this is considered livestock waste and is an eligible feedstock.
Is Local Government eligible for the cash co-contribution exception of $2:$1 (SV:Applicant) available to Not-for profit organisations, Charities, Community Groups, Co-operatives and Research institutes?
No, Local Government is not eligible for exceptions in cash co-contribution requirements.
Is kerbside FOGO (Food Organics Garden Organics) an eligible feedstock for a potential Anaerobic Digestion processing application? Either as an exclusive single stream kerbside FOGO feedstock or as part of a combined feedstock (such as, kerbside FOGO combined with commercial and industrial food or agri-organics)?
Yes, kerbside FOGO can be a potential feedstock for an Anaerobic Digestion processing application.
Food and garden waste is eligible for funding only if it is processed through thermal pyrolysis (to sequester carbon) or through a biological process. You must demonstrate in your application the steps taken to determine waste to energy as the best value option in the waste management hierarchy including a self-assessment of the framework. Wood waste must meet the exempt wood waste definition in the waste to energy framework.
My project does not divert waste from landfill. Can I still apply?
Yes, applicants whose projects do not divert organic waste from landfill can still apply for funding.
Subject to satisfying eligibility requirements, all projects will be assessed on merit to the objectives of the Fund, including those which do not divert waste from landfill. In the application, projects need to show that the recovered organic material had no higher order alternative prior to waste to energy being considered.
Can a feasibility study on hydrogen technology from waste be included in Stream 1?
Yes, this project is eligible if the hydrogen is produced from thermal pyrolysis of organics to sequester carbon, or organics processed through anaerobic digestion process.
Is anaerobic digestion of organics to produce methane eligible?
Yes, anaerobic digestion of organics to produce methane is eligible depending on the intended application of methane. Outputs which are going to be used as an energy source – heat, electricity, fuels, and gas are eligible for funding.
Which stream does a project installing a small bladder to test viability in urban areas in partnership with council fall into?
Project stream eligibility for this project will depend on the intended activities during the project period. You can apply for Stream 1 funding if you want to perform feasibility studies of your project idea. You can apply for Stream 2 funding if the project has reached financial close and is ready for bioenergy infrastructure purchase and commissioning.
Is a project focused on removing hazardous waste from an industrial landfill to compost for land application eligible?
No, hazardous waste materials are outside the scope of this fund. Only organic waste streams are eligible for funding.
Is taking a lab feasibility study to proof of concept eligible for funding?
Yes, trial and demonstration projects are eligible to apply for both Stream 1 and Stream 2.
Would Stream 1 cover a feasibility study on bioenergy opportunities for a fresh fruit and vegetable wholesale business?
Yes, general food waste from commercial and industrial sectors, including hospitality, wholesale and retail operations are eligible for funding for either stream of funding if certain conditions are met.
For cash contributions, is this defined as payments to third parties, or does it include labour costs paid to company staff?
Cash contributions are contributions of a good or a service in cash (not in-kind).
Cash contributions can include the cost for activities that are directly related to delivering your project (for example, applicant cash co-contribution for expenditure items which you include in the project budget section of the application form).
Payments made to third parties, contractors, and external consultancies required for the project will be eligible for funding and applicants must provide required cash co-contribution for the same.
Internal staff funding costs are not eligible for funding and cannot be counted under cash co-contribution.
If projects can be completed ahead of the award, is there provision for back dating payments?
No, retrospective spending is not eligible for funding (for example, expenditure that has been incurred before signing the agreement with SV is ineligible for funding). Projects that receive funding that progress faster than their milestone schedule can request contract variations to cover payments if required.
We are working through projects at the moment. Can funding be sought for the closure or finalisation of these projects versus from initial concept?
No, project activities that are completed or have commenced prior to signing a funding agreement with SV are ineligible for funding.
Are 'in-kind' contributions counted towards the payment?
No, in-kind contributions are not eligible and are not counted towards co-contribution payment requirements.
Can the funding apply to an existing pyrolysis project that currently does not have a renewable electricity generation element?
Yes, upgrades or additions to existing bioenergy infrastructure or equipment are eligible to apply so long as they produce additional bioenergy. Funding for retrospective projects is not eligible.
Can SV ask for project fund requests to be reduced if a project is suitable but perhaps deemed too costly?
The evaluation panel might ask for follow up information or other details during their review process. Value for money is a key criterion of the fund. Please note that each stream has a cap of funding that a project can ask for.
What is the maximum number of projects SV is likely to fund under Stream 1?
There is no maximum number of projects or funding allocated per stream. Each application will be evaluated and ranked on its own merit not the stream it is part of
Will there be future funding regarding waste to energy that is under the cap?
Not at this stage.
Will there be future funding rounds to implement what is designed in a feasibility study from Round 1?
No, not at this stage.
Our submission is a joint venture. I know the name of the applicant is singular and that we must name all parties who have an interest in the project, but do we have to name all contractors?
Yes. You must select a Lead Applicant for your submission. You will also be required to list any project partners who have a financial stake in the project. You can list other project participants (major subcontractors, contractors, product suppliers, consultants, and so on) in the stakeholder details section.
Is an applicant able to submit multiple applications as 'Lead Applicant' across Stream 1 and Stream 2?
Yes, as an applicant, you can submit multiple applications for different projects across both streams. A project can only apply for one stream of funding.
We're planning to do a feasibility study to develop a high-level study of multiple waste streams, outputs and stakeholders in our area, including business model for biodigester projects. Is this okay or does it need to produce a full design for a specific location or waste stream?
An application can cover a project that is carried out in multiple sites which can also include multiple waste streams. The important thing to focus on is how your approach would be viable to achieve the outcomes of this fund and how it will be evaluated against the selection criteria.
Who should be listed as a cash contributor? Should it be the university where researchers are working or industry partners whose waste is going to be used?
The co-contribution requirements apply to the Lead Applicant only. Applicants (including project partners) are required to make a co-contribution to the total project cost.
The Lead Applicant is responsible for all terms under the funding agreement. The Lead Applicant is also responsible for managing the project outcomes and deliverables of the project.
Does the Lead Applicant have to contribute financially?
Yes, the Lead Applicant must contribute financially. The co-contribution requirements apply to the Lead Applicant only. They are responsible for all terms under the funding agreement. This demonstrates Lead Applicants financial capability to undertake the project.
Lead Applicants can work with project partners to provide co-contributions to the total project cost.
Are late applications accepted?
Generally, no. Email the Grants Enquiry team before the application deadline for your requests to be considered. There is also a late application process outlined in the Terms of Participation in Grant Programs.
Who should I contact to make changes to my application after submission?
Once you submit your application, you cannot make any changes except under exceptional circumstances. Email the Grants Enquiry team before applications close for your request to be considered.
When can I approach the Infrastructure Facilitation team for support?
Your first contact with SV should be through the Grants Enquiry team.
The best time to approach the Infrastructure Facilitation team is when you have started or completed your application. The better prepared you are when you contact this team, the more they can help you.
Is it possible to book one-on-one meetings (in Zoom) rather than email for a project application discussion?
Yes, please email the Grants Enquiry team to clarify the process.
Is there a list of consultants available for north-east Victoria to assist with bioenergy feasibility studies?
For equal consideration we do not have a list of recommend consultants. Please reach out to Bioenergy Australia or Waste Management and Resource Recovery Australia for guidance in this space.
After applications close, when will decisions be made as to the grant outcomes?
Energy issues are real and immediate, therefore, we intend to streamline the decision-making process as much as possible.
Early 2023 is the expected notification date of outcomes. We will provide applicants with updates as often as possible and when necessary.
Could you explain more about the 'cap licenses' that are out of scope?
The Waste to Energy framework encourages investment that supports diversion of residual waste from landfill. Refer to the Waste to Energy framework to understand the cap licensing process. Please conduct a self-assessment of your project against this framework to understand the conditions you are required to meet.
We cannot review drafts or provide feedback.
In the subject line, use the grant name Waste to Energy Fund: Bioenergy – Stream 1: Project development.