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 environmentally sustainable and innovative district energy schemes.
District energy refers to systems that deliver heating, hot water and cooling services through a network of insulated pipes, from a central point of generation to multiple end users.
Veolia’s collaborative project with USC was awarded in the Out of the Box category, which highlights innovation in the district energy field.
According to a Veolia statement, the winning project reduces the carbon footprint of USC campus by 42 percent, through the integration of a 8.2 megawatt cooling plant, 2.1 megawatts of solar power and a 4.5 megalitre chilled water storage tank.
“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,” the statement reads.
Veolia Regional Energy Services Manager Andrew Darr said winning the award on a global stage reaffirms how innovative the project is, and how the two organisations are 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,” Mr Darr said.
“The renewables district cooling and storage project at USC has been so successful, we are certainly looking to roll out similar schemes in the future.”
USC Chief Operating Officer Scott Snyder said USC plans to be completely carbon neutral by 2025, which 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.