Sydney Town Hall

AE Smith has won an $11.5 million tender to design, construct and operate a trigeneration plant for the City of Sydney at Town Hall.

The tender is for a five-year period with the possibility of a five-year extension.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the City had reduced carbon emissions by 21 per cent since 2006, and trigeneration would further reduce emissions by three per cent a year.

“It will also save around $320,000 a year on our energy bills and this money can be reinvested in delivering services to the community,” Ms Moore said.

“While the cost of trigeneration is comparable to the cost of carbon abatement using GreenPower, installing trigeneration is a better option because it reduces carbon and it significantly improves building energy efficiency.”

The system is expected to raise the NABERS rating of the Town Hall building from 3.5 stars to 4.5 stars.

“This is an important opportunity to significantly improve environmental performance in our heritage-listed building and staff office space,” Ms Moore said.

“Newer buildings are designed to be ‘green ready’. Our Town Hall building is over 125 years old and staff offices around 40 years old so we have to work harder to achieve best environmental performance.

“Sydney Town Hall has already undergone a complete retrofit and we have installed 240 panels on the roof producing around 52,000 kilowatt hours of electricity a year.”

A feasibility study and business case for the project by KPMG with technical review by AECOM recommended “a staged approach which would manage development risks by installing trigeneration in Town Hall House to initially service Town Hall House and Sydney Town Hall in the first stage”.

“This could be expanded to supply surrounding buildings with thermal energy as part of a small precinct in a second stage, when demand for thermal energy from these buildings is established,” a council document said.

The City received a grant of $3.05 million from the federal government’s Community Energy Efficiency Program for the project. Design and construction will begin early next year and the plant will become operational by the middle of 2016.

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