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Council LPAC Cogeneration

The Leichhardt Park Aquatic Centre

LPAC-logoLeichhardt Park Aquatic Centre (LPAC) is a friendly fitness centre with a wide range of facilities that cater to everyone in the community.

Located in a world class setting, the Centre allows guests to enjoy beautiful views and outdoor facilities as they relax or exercise.

LPAC has a new state-of-the-art health and fitness facility which includes a new gymnasium, cutting edge equipment, and three spacious studios for group exercise classes. There are over 100 weekly classes ranging from yoga and pilates to zumba, pump, aquarobics, cardio boxing and cycle.

It also boasts six swimming pools, with options including indoor heated and outdoor heated swimming, children’s pools, a dive pool, program pools and the very popular learn to swim classes.

The Centre also has a warm water therapy pool for rehabilitation, general exercise, and swimming.

LPAC-swimming-pool

Tackling climate change

Leichhardt Council has been responding to climate change for many years. It’s a simple decision - science is telling us that the release of greenhouse gases caused by human actions is contributing to global warming. 

In 2012 Council became the second in NSW to become carbon neutral. However, we continue to strive to reduce our carbon emissions.

Leichhardt Park Aquatic Centre (LPAC) is Leichhardt Council's largest energy consuming asset. Before the cogeneration, LPAC was contributing around 40% of greenhouse gas emissions created by the use of electricity at council managed facilities. This was mostly from heating the pools year round.

Because of the large amount of energy it consumes, reducing carbon emissions at the LPAC is the highest priority in the Leichhardt Council Climate Change Plan.

Cogeneration at the LPAC

LPAC-cogeneration-plant

Leichhardt Council is proud to report that its most important carbon reduction project, the cogeneration system at Leichhardt Park Aquatic Centre, is now complete.

The plant began operation in March 2013. The old electric heat pumps for the 50 meter Olympic pool, the diving pool, and the mushroom pool have all been replaced with the Centre’s gas powered electricity generation system run by the Cogeneration Plant. Heat produced as a by-product is used to heat the swimming pools. 

The heat pumps and air handling units for the indoor program pool have also been upgraded.

Cogeneration

What is cogeneration?

Cogeneration is the simultaneous production of electricity and the use of waste heat from the cogeneration process to supply heating needs. 

The Centre’s cogeneration system involves burning natural gas in two micro-turbines, which in turn spins a generator to create electricity. 

Because the engine is powered by gas rather than coal, it produces electricity that has approximately 60% less greenhouse gas emissions than coal-fired electricity.

What are the carbon savings?

green-reportingBy producing lower carbon-intensive electricity and using it to power the Aquatic Centre, and replacing the electricity needed to heat the pools with zero carbon waste heat, Leichhardt Council can significantly reduce the carbon emissions generated by the Centre.

Project design consultants Steensen Varming estimate the project could reduce emissions by 1270 tonnes annually. 

So now Council can continue to offer this world-class facility to the community year round while saving on electricity bills and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The bottom line

Generating our own electricity to power sections of the LPAC will save Council $79,000 each year in running costs.

The works cost a total of $1.626 million, with approximately $460,000 funded by a grant from the Federal Government Community Energy Efficiency Program. With the savings generated by the Plant, Council should recoup those costs in less than 10 years.