The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) has signed an agreement for the supply of cooling thermal energy from the Central Park thermal energy plant across the road.

The energy produced by the Central Energy Plant will be accessed by UTS through thermal delivery pipes that have been bored underneath the busy Broadway. It will boost the campus’ onsite central plant, which provides heating and cooling to eight UTS Broadway Campus buildings, and provide greater diversity of supply and redundancy for cooling the Broadway campus, reducing the risk of failure and outages.

The system will also complement the peak and off peak demands of the plant’s current customer, Central Park. The Central Energy Plant currently provides chilled energy to the Central Park apartments whose main peak demand is typically in the evenings and on weekends when its residents are more likely to be home. Conversely, UTS’ peak demands are weekdays and during the hot afternoons in semesters, such as February and November.

UTS Green Infrastructure Project Manager Jonathan Prendergast explains that investment in new chilling infrastructure can be capital- and space-intensive, requiring new chilling plant, pumps, connecting pipework, cooling towers and electrical infrastructure. By procuring a portion of UTS’ cooling from an offsite supplier, UTS can invest in its core business and free up space for teaching, offices and a more active roof space without cooling tower

This is the first time that the urban renewal precinct is providing energy from its plant beyond its own buildings, but Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore is optimistic that more will follow suit.

“It’s great news the network is now expanding across the road to UTS, and we hope to see other businesses and building owners in the area take advantage of the environmental efficiencies and cost savings district energy systems can bring,” she says.  

“With 80 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions in the City of Sydney area coming from buildings, it’s important we keep looking for innovative ways to create sustainable, energy efficient developments.”

Heating, cooling and ventilation accounts for approximately 62 per cent of UTS’ total electricity usage. The partnership with Brookfield Energy Australia will see their greenhouse gas emissions reduced by approximately 2.2 per cent or 1,111 tonnes C02-e per annum.

The cooling contract covers the purchase of chilling energy requirements for a 15-year period and is due to be implemented in 2018.


The news follows a recent decision by the Australian Energy Market Commission to reject a proposal that would allow local businesses, community groups and councils to sell and share the solar power they generate with their neighbours.

The Local Generation Network Credits rule change was put forward by the CoS, the Total Environment Centre and the Property Council of Australia, and modelling showed it would reduce network expansion costs by 59 per cent.

But the AEMC said it would not support the request, arguing it would build "a new, expensive subsidy into the regulatory framework ... achieving little but higher prices for all consumers".