Qantas gives green light to energy efficient tri-generation power plants at three Sydney facilities
Fri 26 Feb 2010 – Two power plants will be constructed by energy company GridX to serve Qantas’ Sydney Jet Base, catering centre and domestic terminal, representing the largest commercial tri-generation – cooling, heating and electricity – project so far undertaken in Australia. By capturing heat that would otherwise be lost, tri-generation can achieve, through the use of natural gas, energy efficiencies of around 80 percent compared with an average of 35 percent for a conventional supply of energy from the coal-powered grid. The airline says it is part of a sustainability package that was fundamental to its long-term business strategy.
“We estimate that tri-generation in Sydney could account for more than 50 percent of Qantas’ targeted reduction in electricity use, with the savings in emissions alone approximating 6,000 fewer cars on our roads per year,” said Qantas Chief Risk Officer, Rob Kella.
“It will increase the security and reliability of our electricity supply and enable further maintenance and operational savings. Qantas is a major industrial energy user and property owner in Australia, so this project represents a substantial commitment to improving our sustainability performance.”
Construction of the new facilities is expected to begin by mid-2010 and be complete by mid-2011, under a 15- year Build, Own, Operate and Maintain (BOOM) arrangement with GridX, an Australian energy provider to the residential, commercial and industrial sectors.
Russell Marsh, Policy Director for the Clean Energy Council, the industry association representing the clean energy and energy efficiency sectors, believed the project would mark an important milestone in the emergence of tri-generation power in Australia.
“Tri-generation is still an underused technology in this country and we would like to see more companies employing it to save energy and greenhouse gas emissions,” he said. “The ability to produce cooling, heating and electricity generation simultaneously from a single fuel source shows the kind of quantum leaps we need to make in order to respond effectively to climate change.”
Kella said that whilst his airline was strongly committed to advancing the fuel-efficiency of its flying performance, it was also focused on bringing down emissions from activities on the ground.
“Today’s announcement complements other important Qantas initiatives in this area, such as our decision to join the global Sustainable Aviation Fuel Users Group (SAFUG) and ongoing trials of Required Navigation Performance (RNP) flight paths – as well as our carbon offset and recycling programmes,” he said.
“These measures are part of a sustainability package that is fundamental to Qantas’ long-term business strategy.”
The GridX System for energy generation and distribution