Christchurch seeks developers for first district energy scheme

New Zealand’s second largest city is seeking developers to get involved in its first district energy system (DES).

The two companies behind Christchurch's first such system are starting to lobby private developers to join the scheme.

The DES plans to power up some of the major precincts in the central city rebuild through a central energy system that erases the need for buildings to have their own boiler systems.
Christchurch
Pioneer Generation Ltd and Cowley Services Ltd are designing the system which has the backing of Christchurch District Health Board, the city council and the Christchurch Earthquake Recovery Authority.

At an information session this week, the companies said they needed private developers to begin incorporating the system as part of their central city rebuild. Underground thermal energy from an aquifer drives the system which delivers through underground pipes.

DES is expected to invest $30 million to $50m in thermal energy assets. It could build more than 40 MW of thermal energy capacity and supply over 700,000 square metres of space within its first five years of operation. 40 MW of thermal energy capacity is enough to heat the equivalent of 10,000 homes.

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