Melbourne district energy project to be powered by GE technology

Melbourne, Australia’s growing energy needs have received a high profile boost witht the news that GE is to provide the technology behind one of the city’s commercial districts.

One of GE’s (NYSE: GE) natural gas-fired Jenbacher gas engines will be powering a cogeneration plant that will provide reliable electricity and thermal energy for a major urban revitalization initiative in Dandenong, Victoria.

Built by Cogent Energy, the plant will play a pivotal role in the VicUrban-lead Revitalising Central Dandenong (RCD) initiative that is rejuvenating the south-east region of Melbourne.

The collaboration marks GE’s first urban district energy project in Australia. Clarke Energy Australia, GE’s authorized distributor for Jenbacher gas engines in Australia, will supply project owner Cogent Energy with a 2-MW, J612 Jenbacher cogeneration unit for Phase 1 of the new power facility, which could be expanded to 6 MW.

The gas engine is expected to save the equivalent of about 9900 tons of carbon emissions a year, which equals the removal of more than 5500 cars from the road.

The cogeneration plant is set to dramatically reduce the emissions and energy use of the Dandedong Commercial District by reducing its reliance on energy from the grid.

The plant also will have the capacity to produce surplus hot water, which Cogent Energy will then sell back to local commercial buildings to provide cooling via building owner-supplied absorption chillers.

“Australia represents an important growth region for GE as more customers embrace various distributed power applications—including industrial cogeneration—to bring the sources of energy production closer to end-users,” said Rafael Santana, CEO and president—Gas Engines for GE Energy.

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