Feds put $3.75 million on table for a greener Green Square

Saturday, 21 April, 2012

Lord Mayor Clover Moore, today, welcomed a $3.75 million federal government grant to begin rolling out Australia’s first large-scale trigeneration network that will transform Sydney’s Green Square into a new retail, residential and employment hub.

“Households and businesses at Green Square will get a cleaner and cost-competitive alternative to the rising cost of coal-fired electricity,” the Lord Mayor said.

“The federal government’s funding demonstrates the national significance of Sydney’s green infrastructure plans and confirms Green Square’s future role as a leading example of sustainable urban development.”

Green Square is a 292-hectare area south of the city, only 4 km from the city centre and 3.5 km from Sydney airport, taking in parts of the suburbs of Alexandria, Beaconsfield, Rosebery and Zetland. It will be one of Australia’s leading sustainable urban developments and will include installing trigeneration and investigating the construction of a recycled water network and an automated waste collection system.

The $8 billion Green Square project aims to deliver: 22,000 jobs; 20,000 new homes, including hundreds of affordable housing units for key workers; and 40,000 new residents.

Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese announced the grant, under the Liveable Cities Program, to help fund the installation of the trigeneration energy system.

The 4 MW energy system, to run on natural gas, will supply low-carbon electricity, heating and cooling to 6000 residents in 3300 dwellings as well as shops and offices at the Green Square town centre. 

Trigeneration energy systems use natural gas and produce electricity, heating and cooling for surrounding buildings. They are more than twice as energy efficient as coal-fired electricity and will reduce greenhouse emissions for connected buildings by up to 60%.

Trigeneration plants are being used in individual buildings by companies in Sydney, including GPT Group, Stockland, Investa, Westfield and the Rooty Hill RSL.

The City of Sydney’s plan to connect multiple buildings to a trigeneration network significantly improves the energy efficiency of the system - such networks are already operating in Europe, the US and Asia.

“This local energy network could save NSW electricity consumers as much as $1.5 billion by 2030 in avoided or delayed spending on electricity grid upgrades and new power stations,” said the Lord Mayor.

“It will help us deliver on our target to cut carbon emissions across the City of Sydney by 70% by 2030 (on 2006 levels) - one of the most ambitious of any Australian government.”

Last week the City signed an historic agreement with energy company Cogent, wholly owned by Origin, to build the low-carbon energy network.

The City’s interim trigeneration master plan estimates a total capacity of 360 MW by 2030 at a cost of $440 million (2010 dollars), supplying 70% of the local government area’s electricity requirements. Origin will invest $100 million over 10 years for the initial stages of the project.

Under the agreement, Cogent will provide trigeneration services to council and privately owned buildings in four low-carbon zones across central Sydney: Green Square, CBD North (Martin Place/George Street),CBD South (Town Hall Precinct) and Pyrmont/Broadway.

Work on the Green Square development began last month with the start of demolition work at the old Royal South Sydney Hospital site in Zetland. The City of Sydney will build community facilities including a new community hall and theatrette, a community shed, artists’ studios and workshops on the site and a new park named after Matron Ruby Grant, a pioneering nurses’ advocate.

The City is also installing the trigeneration energy system and the purification plant for a recycled water system on the former South Sydney hospital site, which will supply the Green Square development.

A library and community centre will be built in the plaza of the Green Square town centre. In the meantime, the library is on the ground floor of the Tote building in Joynton Avenue.

Landcom and the Green Square Consortium, a joint venture between Mirvac Projects and Leighton Properties, have submitted a planning proposal to the City of Sydney for a major part of the Green Square town centre. John Newell Pty Ltd has also submitted a planning proposal for another part of the town centre site.

The City has revised and approved these planning proposals which are now with the NSW Department of Planning for final approval. Development applications for the town centre are expected to be lodged later this year.

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