Sydney moves ahead with trigeneration

By Lilia Guan
The City of Sydney has entered the first phase of the installation of a low carbon energy system at Town Hall House.
City of Sydney CEO Monica Barone said the network will slash greenhouse gas emissions and stem rising electricity costs in buildings across the City.
The building of a ‘trigeneration energy system’ in close proximity to the Town Hall was the first step in the council’s plans to connect its buildings to a network of low-carbon energy systems.
According to a media spokesperson the council aims to also connect-up privately owned buildings in the city to its low-carbon electricity network.
“[Private businesses] have no objections to trigeneration,” he said.
“A group of private businesses [with trigeneration interest] was forming a group with the council an announcement about this will be made later this year.”
In July last year, the City of Sydney invited energy companies to tender for the build and operation of a network of trigeneration systems to supply electricity, heating and cooling to the City's five aquatic centres, the Town Hall precinct and Customs House and the remainder of its 200-plus buildings.
The City aims to take most, if not all, of city buildings off the coal fired grid as part of its 2030 goal to cut carbon emissions by 70 per cent.
The request for tender also included an option to supply trigeneration to privately-owned buildings in the city, with the aim of eventually providing 360 megawatts or more of trigeneration to buildings throughout the city.
However, the council planned to reject the tender process and let the council's CEO open contract negotiations with a wide range of energy companies.
The media spokesperson said the tender process rejection was due to the complexities surrounding the building of the network and the rigidity of local government tender processes.
" No bids conformed to all tender specifications," he said.
"This gives us the ability to pick and choose the energy companies with the right fit,"
The Local Government Act allows Council to reject all tenders, and then open up wider negotiations, and that's what we've decided to do here, said Ms Barone.
Trigeneration systems use natural gas to produce low carbon electricity and zero carbon heating and cooling.
The system captures waste heat from electricity generation and uses it locally for the heating and cooling of buildings.
Sydney City’s interim ‘Trigeneration Master Plan’, was released in December, last year.
According to the media spokesperson trigeneration has been used by cities in the UK and Europe for the past decade.
“Australia's behind the rest of the world and Sydney is trying to move ahead,” he said.


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