Sydney pools to go off the grid

January 7, 2010

Five city aquatic centres and the Town Hall precinct could be the first city-owned sites to run off CCHP systems.

The City of Sydney plans to take five inner city aquatic centres and the Town Hall precinct off the electricity grid as part of its Sustainable Sydney 2030 initiative.

The centres would run off combined cooling, heating and power (CCHP) systems, generating low-carbon energy locally and efficiently, and reducing the carbon emissions of the six sites.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore MP called for Expressions of Interest to design the CCHP systems, saying: “The State’s coal-fire power stations are an extremely inefficient means of providing electricity to our City – only about 30 per cent of the energy from burning coal in the Hunter Valley actually reaches your Sydney house as electricity.”

The Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre in Ultimo, built in 2007 by Harry Seidler & Associates, is one of the listed projects, along with the Cook and Phillip Park Pool in Sydney, the Victoria Park Pool in Camperdown, the Andrew Boy Charlton Pool in Sydney and the prince Alfred Park Pool in Surry Hills, as well as the Town Hall Precinct.

CCHP is an energy productions system that generates electricity and captures the heat by-product for heating and cooling buildings and pools. The system produces significantly less greenhouse gas emissions, and is more efficient than traditional coal-fire electricity production.

The Sustainable Sydney 2030 plan aims to reduce the reliance on coal-fire electricity production, replacing it with at least 330 megawatts of locally generated energy. These projects could provide up to three megawatts, the mayor said.

The EOI calls for organisations with relevant skills and experience in the design, installation, operation and maintenance of CCHP equipment on a long-term basis.

The six sites could be the first city-owned sites to benefit from the systems, and were chosen by the council “because they provide the greatest opportunity to reduce energy consumption,” Moore said.

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