The City of Sydney is to reinvest the $2 million a year which it current spends of greenpower into renewable energy systems for its buildings and operations.

Projects under consideration include a glass and solar panel shade canopy in front of Customs House at Circular Quay and solar panel roofs on other council buildings such as depots, aquatic centres and other community facilities.

Mayor Clover Moore said that “Rather than just offsetting our electricity emissions, this strategy invests the money we would have spent on carbon offsets into building renewable energy projects for the city”.

This scheme is in addition to the city’s programme of developing tri-generation plants to reduce the need for council buildings to rely on electricity from coal-fired power plants.

Allan Jones

Allan Jones

Tenders are being called this month to establish tri-generation plants in seven locations around the CBD at Town Hall, Customs House and five aquatic centres. The plan is to create a network of such plants providing up to 325MW over a 15-year period, which could connect to neighbouring buildings and the entire CBD.

Allan Jones, who took the English city of Woking off the grid and implemented similar plans for London, is now the council’s Chief Development Officer for Energy and Climate Change. He says there are numerous advantages to the plan. It will cut emissions by about 70 per cent, reduce and possibly eliminate the need for new coal-fired baseload generators and eliminate losses from transmission.

(Also see our previos artticle “Lessons from London“)