Saturday, 14 May 2011

The magnificent power of three
April 29, 2011

Sydney is a step closer to reducing its reliance on coal powered energy, with the launch of Australia's first commercial trigeneration network. The project, which links the energy use of two buildings across the harbour, uses natural gas to produce electricity on site, capturing any waste heat to provide heating and air conditioning. Electricity generated at Coca Cola Place, a high rise office building in North Sydney, is also provided to Deutsche Bank Place in the CBD Energy. Trigeneration can be up to three times more efficient than coal fired power stations, where the waste heat escapes into the atmosphere.

The lord mayor, Clover Moore, said: ''This is Australia's first open commercial trigeneration precinct, delivering a more efficient way to generate power, heat and cooling.'' As part of its Sustainable Sydney 2030 plan, Sydney City Council aims to produce 70% of the city's energy needs locally from trigeneration systems within the next 20 years. Although the complex is not in the City of Sydney, Cr Moore said it showed the viability of larger scale trigeneration.

''We must look at trigeneration and we must start to show just how effective it is in terms of saving costs, saving carbon. Eighty% of emissions are in our cities predominantly from our commercial buildings.'' The NSW Energy Minister, Chris Hartcher, said medium scale projects like trigeneration plants were more efficient than rooftop solar panels. ''We are not going to allow programs like the present Solar Bonus Scheme,.. to continue,'' Mr Hartcher said. ''But we are going to encourage a sensible attitude towards,.. energy efficiency in the community. That's why we look very much to business to set the example.'' The operators expect the plant to prevent the release of about 1000 tonnes of CO₂ each year.