In Australia a new power plant is run by nuts… literally.

Now this is pretty cool. The world’s first power plant that generates electricity from the discarded shells of macadamia nuts.

http://www.smh.com.au” href=“http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/09/18/1063625128292.html”>It’s official: Gympie’s run by nuts – http://www.smh.com.au

The $3 million “green power” facility is a joint venture between the Queensland government-owned Ergon Energy and the Gympie-based Suncoast Gold Macadamias company, the world’s third-largest producer of the nuts.

Queensland Energy Minister Paul Lucas flicked the ceremonial switch today and said 80 per cent of the power generated at the environmentally-friendly site would be exported to the national electricity grid.

“Each hour this facility will convert 1680 kilograms of waste shell into 1.5 megawatts of electricity,” Mr Lucas said.

“In its first year of operation the facility will reduce greenhouse gases by around 9500 tonnes which is the equivalent of taking more than 2000 cars off the road.”

Mr Lucas said within the next two years the facility is expected to double its output by using 10,000 tonnes of waste shells – enough to fill five Olympic-size swimming pools.

There’s nothing in the article that talks about how the electricity is generated or how effecient it is, but if the output is good and the pollution levels low enough then this could be a major step forward in power generation. Macadamia nuts are about as easily a renewable source of energy as you could hope for.

Via Wired News.

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