Preferred Provider Selected for Doncaster Hill District Energy Services

15 Aug 2013

Manningham Council has announced COFELY Australia (a subsidiary of the multinational utility company GDF SUEZ) as the preferred provider for District Energy Services for the Doncaster Hill Principal Activities Area. 

The announcement follows two years of work by Manningham Council and electricity distributor United Energy, investigating the possibility of bringing 21st century energy services to Doncaster Hill. 

District energy is widely recognised as a sustainable, cost-effective solution to the provision of heating, cooling and power via an insulated pipe network.

Manningham Mayor, Cr Jennifer Yang said the demand for electricity in Australia is projected to grow by nearly 50 per cent between now and 2030 and local area solutions are an appropriate way of meeting rising demand in areas such as Doncaster Hill.

”COFELY Australia’s proposed district energy system could result in a $27 million dollar infrastructure investment, with major advantages for customers and the environment.”

 “Not only will the proposed District Energy Service supply cleaner and greener energy to customers on the Hill, but it would also result in lower heating and cooling costs,” she said.

In August 2011, United Energy formalised a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Manningham Council to investigate alternatives to traditional energy infrastructure that can significantly reduce greenhouse emissions; increase the physical resilience of infrastructure; and reduce the environmental footprint of energy generation and consumption.

In July 2012, Manningham Council and United Energy engaged the services of two District Energy Services providers, to assess the commercial viability of a district energy solution for the Doncaster Hill Principal Activities Area and the Eastern Golf Course site in Doncaster.

The broad aim of the District Energy Services feasibility study was to:

  • Reduce energy demand and greenhouse emissions
  • Generate as much alternative and renewable energy within Doncaster Hill as possible
  • Establish Doncaster Hill as a centre of sustainability
  • Establish the foundations for a suitable commercially viable model that could form the benchmark for opportunities to develop similar schemes elsewhere around Australia.

Cr Yang said that internationally, best practice district energy systems consist of a local energy centre, insulated pipes to distribute hot and chilled water and insulated water tanks for storage of hot and cold water.  Any district energy proposal for Doncaster Hill will need to stack up commercially and needs to be effectively maintained and operated into the future.

“United Energy actively engaged with Council in its District Energy Services project, which has been made possible through in-kind support and the provision of funding for the study through the Demand Management Incentive Scheme (DMIS).”

COFELY Australia and Manningham City Council are currently developing a MoU, the first step in preparing a detailed district energy project proposal.