The Green Square Aquatic Centre, Sydney’s newest major swimming pool will be heated and powered all year round by its own locally produced energy system.

The City of Sydney has agreed to include a trigeneration plant in the new Green Square Aquatic Centre. Electricity from the trigeneration plant will power the pool, heating system, community buildings and other facilities located near the pool, helping the City slash its carbon emissions. The Aquatic Centre is currently in the final stages of a design competition, with the winning design to be announced in November.

The City will build its own ‘private wire’, a local distribution system that will allow power to be shared between several new Green Square facilities including a childcare centre, water recycling plant, community and creative areas at the site of the former South Sydney Hospital, and public lighting throughout the area.

The Aquatic Centre is currently in the final stages of a design competition, with the winning design to be announced in November. Options include a Bronte Beach inspired design by Andrew Burges Architects (above) and a countersunk pool and wetland design by CHROFI and McGregor Coxall (below).

The private wire will ensure the City will only pay for one connection fee to Ausgrid, avoiding the individual connection fees that would otherwise be charged for each facility to connect to the grid. The private wire will also allow the City to install photovoltaic panels on its Green Square buildings and share the electricity they generate with other buildings, reducing emissions even further.

The trigeneration plant will be similar to those installed by many other councils to provide low-emission heating and electricity for their pools, including in Wagga Wagga, North Sydney, Willoughby, Hornsby and Leichhardt.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the decision to install a trigeneration plant was good for the environment and would also reduce operating costs at the new community facilities. The trigeneration plant is expected to reduce the City’s carbon emissions by 10,000 tonnes over the next 25 years for a price well below the cost of simply buying GreenPower.

The City is also installing a trigeneration plant to power Town Hall, where the buildings have been retrofitted for better energy efficiency. Thousands of LED streetlights have also been installed across the city to reduce carbon emissions.

Two other options include a Cullinan Ivanov Partnership design (above) and an intertwining stacked design by TYP-TOP Studio.

Trigeneration plants are much more energy efficient than coal fired power stations that produce most of NSW’s power, where nearly two-thirds of the energy from burning fossil fuels is lost as heat. The Green Square trigeneration plant will use the heat created from generating power to warm the water in the aquatic centre pool.

A major advantage of installing a trigeneration plant is the ability to produce energy locally, which further increases energy efficiency by avoiding transmission losses that come from transporting electricity over long distances.

Construction work on the Green Square Aquatic Centre is due to start early in 2017, and the pool to open two years later.