A trigeneration plant in the basement of a Sydney building

Local electricity

Today, about 80 per cent of the city’s electricity still comes from coal-fired power stations. Most are located in the Hunter Valley. Power stations lose about two-thirds of the energy coal produces (through steam) on site. More losses occur when the electricity is transmitted all the way from the Hunter to Sydney – and most of your bill goes towards network costs.

You don’t need to be in business to realise that’s a waste! Now what if we said we could power your business from a local generator? Well, it’s possible.

The City wants to find a way to use local generators in the local area.

‘Trigeneration’ systems could be set up in the basement of a building or on vacant land. They are about the size of a shipping container. They could produce all the electricity needed for a designated area, and if there is any leftover, it could go back into the grid.

These systems can be powered with low-carbon fuels such as natural gas. Eventually they could run on renewable energy produced from treating household waste.

Unlike the big power stations, trigeneration systems actually use the waste heat they accumulate – to heat and cool buildings. It can even be converted to cool air in summer. That’s why trigeneration is known as a combined cooling, heat and power (CCHP) system.

We are currently lobbying the federal and state governments for regulatory change that will provide incentives to the big end of town to hook their buildings up to a trigeneration precinct.

Towards 2030, our planned trigeneration precincts could:

• Help end our reliance on coal-fired power
• Cut greenhouse emissions
• Reduce electricity costs for businesses.