Veolia and the University of the Sunshine Coast’s (USC) renewables district cooling and storage project has received global recognition at the 2019 Global District Energy Climate Awards in Iceland. Supported by United Nations Environment Programme, the awards recognise world class environmentally sustainable and innovative District Energy
The awarded category, “Out of the Box”, seeked initiatives demonstrating significant innovation in the District Energy sector. The winning project reduces the carbon footprint of the Sunshine Coast campus by 42 percent by integrating an 8.2 megawatt cooling plant, 2.1 megawatt of rooftop and carpark solar with a 4.5 megalitre chilled water storage tank and sophisticated controls.
The system is expected to save the University more than $100 million in energy costs and 100,000 tonnes of carbon emissions over the coming 25 years. Veolia Regional Energy Services Manager Andrew Darr said winning this award on a global stage reaffirms how innovative the project is, and how the two organisations are truly challenging the current state of energy consumption and carbon emissions from large buildings and precincts.
“The partnership exemplifies the sustainable and innovative cultures of both organisations, but more importantly, shows others the transition to a sustainable future can be done in an economically viable way when the power of collaborative partnerships is harnessed,” he said. “The renewables district cooling and storage project at USC has been so successful we are certainly looking to roll out similar schemes in future.”
USC Chief Operating Officer Dr Scott Snyder added USC has a plan to be completely carbon neutral by 2025, which is a challenge to any budget because it requires significant changes to the way energy is captured and consumed.
“So, we really did have to think out of the box, and by forming a partnership with Veolia, we were able to negotiate a 10-year plan that suited us both and delivered major energy savings to the University,” Dr Snyder said.
The award was received in Iceland by Veolia’s Global Key Offer Manager, Angel Andreu.