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MV energy performance contract

Melbourne Museum. Source: Decentralized Energy.

Diarmaid Williams, Australian museum upgrade to incorporate CHP, Decentralized Energy, 23 March 2017

Museums Victoria has begun a program, in accordance with the Australian government’s Greener Government Buildings policy, that aims to increase the performance of six sites through equipment retrofits.

Combined heat and power technology is set to play a vital role in the organisation’s efficiency ambitions, according to Sourceable online.

Melbourne Museum, the World Heritage listed Royal Exhibition Building, Scienceworks, the Immigration Museum, and the Simcock Avenue storage facilities are being retrofitted to improve their performance.

Museums Victoria is working with engineering firm Siemens to implement new technology in the buildings that will reduce electricity costs by 32 per cent, enough to power 1264 homes. The upgrade will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 35 per cent, equivalent to eliminating 6,000 cars.

“Museums Victoria, together with the Victorian Government and Siemens, is now making a significant contribution to energy efficiency and environmental sustainability for future generations,’ said Lynley Marshall, CEO of Museums Victoria.

Components of the project address efficiencies in lighting, water, HVAC, electric power, and building management. Siemens estimates that these measures will prevent the release of 4,590 tons of carbon dioxide over the life of the contract. The $11 million project is being financed through an energy performance contract with a payback period of under seven years.]]

Along with lighting improvements and new HVAC systems overall electricity usage will be reduced by installing a cogeneration system that includes a reciprocating natural gas engine that will provide the bulk of the power and heating needs of the Melbourne Museum. This unit will account for most of the reduction in CO2 emissions, and will also decrease dependency on Victoria’s coal-fired stations in the Latrobe Valley.

Another tool from Siemens is a cloud-based system that captures data for use by engineers to monitor building performance and look for both degradation in performance and opportunities for improvement