Total answers the call for great ideas
19 October 2016

After decades of neglect and slow decay, Sydney’s Bays Precinct – an area generally comprising White Bay, Glebe Island, Rozelle Bay, Blackwattle Bay and the former rail yards west of Glebe Island – is now the subject of a ground-breaking initiative to adopt world-class energy generation systems that position it as a benchmark for big-city energy provision.

In mid-2015, UrbanGrowth NSW conducted a ‘Call for Great Ideas’, an initiative to garner best-of-the-best thinking around innovation and urban transformation in the precinct. An Independent Assessment Panel considered more than 213 ideas and released a compendium of stand-out contributions. We’re delighted to announce that one of these ideas was Total Construction’s.

According to James Bolton, Total’s General Manager - Renewable Energy, “Total’s idea incorporates cogeneration and trigeneration which is fundamentally highly efficient in the use of energy. Other major developments such as Central Park and Barangaroo have already forged a path for district energy schemes. However, under our proposed scheme we believe this will take that journey one step further. Through a district energy scheme, the use of energy is proven to be more efficient than individual equipment for individual buildings. While the individual elements are proven technologies in their own right, the integration of them into a polygeneration network is unique. One element that I’m particularly interested in is solar PV and solar thermal because they are true renewable energies. Gas is cleaner than coal but it’s not actually renewable.”

James believes renewable energies in large-scale construction projects are inevitable. “If you’re not looking at this, I think you’re going to fall behind. There’s a global trend, particularly in the USA and Europe, where they are many years ahead of us in terms of adopting these kinds of technologies. China and India are also hugely involved in progressing renewable energies.”

Just some of the Independent Assessment Panel’s chosen ideas include restoring the precinct’s waterways for transport, recreation, commerce and the health of marine life; precinct-scale infrastructure that focuses on sustainable energy, water and waste management; fuel cell and co-generation power generation; and converting biodegradable waste products to produce bio diesel.

“Our idea is just one part of the whole precinct,” says James. “It will take a number of companies and parties, and a great deal of time and money to make this all work. We’re really looking forward to it. It’s exciting to be part of the sector and the push to bring us up to speed with the rest of the world.”