Leading the green revolution
A trigeneration system is paving the way for Manningham Council in Victoria to realise its long–term vision for a sustainable future.
The technology, the first for local government in Australia, is presently being commissioned in Council’s new $38 million MC2 (Manningham City Square) community facility adjacent to the Civic Offices in Doncaster.
The natural gas fired unit will significantly reduce the environmental impact and ongoing energy costs of the building by generating electricity (385 kW) for heating and cooling and approximately 60 to 70 percent of the energy requirements for MC2.
The MC2 building provides for a wide range of community services, including an art gallery and studios, library and café, all connected to the trigeneration system.
The landmark facility also has a targeted minimum performance equivalent to a National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS) 5–star energy rating and a Greenstar 5–star rating.
Manningham’s Director of Assets and Engineering, Leigh Harrison, said the Civic Precinct demonstrates that by developing local energy opportunities, communities can dramatically reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
“Manningham Council is pleased to be taking the lead and showing how leading edge technology can be used to cost–effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions to support local service provision and benefit the local community,” he said.
Council is also testing three electric cars as part of a Victorian Government trial program.
The nine–month trial will see Council staff trialling the Mitsubishi i–MiEV, Nissan Leaf and Toyota Prius PHEV, each for a three–month period.
Council has received the first vehicle, a Mitsubishi i–MiEV, and is using it for trips across Manningham.
Using green power sourced from renewable sources, such as wind and solar, electric vehicles can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by around 80 percent compared to standard petrol or diesel cars.
The trial supports one of the key actions outlined in Council’s Climate 2020 Action Plan, to convert Council’s vehicle fleet to 100 percent green electric cars or other carbon neutral options.
The Climate 2020 Action Plan aims to establish a framework to direct decision–making and actions that move the community of Manningham towards a ‘climate wise’ future by 2020.
Manningham Mayor Cr Geoff Gough stressed the importance of Council’s need to find cost effective ways to incorporate the use of sustainable energy in all of its activities.
“Council has a fleet of passenger and commercial vehicles it uses in day–to–day operations, therefore investigating alternative, cost effective emerging technologies is a logical step in our long term goal of reducing the organisation’s carbon footprint and our reliance on fossil fuels,” he said.