Brisbane will be the first city in Australia to implement the district cooling energy efficient infrastructure.
Brisbane City Council has signed an agreement for the design and planning phase for the flagship project to Cofely Australia and Thiess Services.
The District Cooling System is a centralised water chilling system which would replace air conditioning chillers and cooling towers in individual CBD buildings with a centralised plant room that supplies chilled water via a system of underground pipes.
Acting Lord Mayor Cr Adrian Schrinner said that while the technology was already in use in many projects around the world, Brisbane would be the first Australian city to implement it on such a large scale in a CBD.
“When combined with Thermal Energy Storage, the district cooling system will chill water during off-peak periods and then supply it to CBD buildings during the day, resulting in significant energy savings and helping to deliver on Council’s vision for a clean, green city,” he said.
“We recognise the importance of smart energy solutions in the long-term development of the CBD and have been working towards this goal with CitySmart – our sustainability agency – and industry partners including Energex, who have provided significant financial and resource support for this project.”
Integral to the smart energy strategy of the new City Centre Master Plan, the system could potentially deliver energy savings of 10-30 per cent for individual buildings and reduce CO2 emissions by up to 24,000 tonnes per annum.
It will deliver significant cost savings for business by providing greater system efficiency, eliminating capital expenditure on replacing old chilling machines and facilitating a shift to off-peak energy consumption, with peak energy demands expected to drop by up to 20 megawatts per annum.
“Initial investigations show a CBD-wide project could deliver more than $230 million worth of private sector infrastructure, create more than 500 construction jobs and benefit the economy to the tune of $530 million,” said Schrinner.