The City of Sydney council has signed a $100 million deal with Cogent Energy (a subsidiary of Origin) for what it says will be Australia’s first city-wide low carbon energy network.

The deal, to establish trigeneration networks in four areas over ten years, is the first stage of the City Council plan to provide 70% of the City’s energy by 2030.

The initial phase will provide energy for City Council and privately owned building in the CBD North and Barangaroo, the CDB South, Pyrmont and Broadway and Green Square. Together, these four zones will deliver 360 megawatts of trigeneration electricity and reduce the City’s greenhouse gas emissions by between 1.1 million and 1.7 million tonnes a year.

Work on the $8 billion Green Square development began last week. This will provide 2,000 new homes as well as community facilities and retail and social precincts, powered by trigeneration, at the old Royal South Sydney Hospital Site.

Final State Governemt approval for the Frank Gehry designed business studies building at the University of Technology Sydney  (UTS) was also received last week. The building is part of the Pyrmont/Broadway trigeneration area which also includes the $2 billion Central Park development under construction opposite the UTS. As well as trigeneration, Central Park will feature the world’s tallest green wall.

As well as the City Council’s projects, a number of other developments in Sydney are incorporating trigeneration. One of these, the new Commonwealth Bank Place Building in the "family/leisure precinct" at Darling Harbour has just been awarded Australia’s first 6-star Green Star rating by the Green Building Council of Australia.

A UTS study found that taking much of the City off the State electricity grid could save users as much as $1.5 billion in infrastructure costs by 2030.