Estate in west Sydney – was commissioned
in 2005, and another 18 months before the
project was officially launched in the media.
Vision Estate has a variety of convenient facilities, including a community
facility clubhouse, tennis court, swimming
pool and spa for use exclusively by residents and their guests. Sixteen homes were
completed in Phase I of the project; another
200 are under construction in Phase II.
On April 12, 2007, Vision Estate and
its unique trigeneration system were
launched to great media fanfare, applauded
as being at the forefront of sustainable
energy supply in residential housing in
Australia. Due to Australians’ interest in
global warming and climate change, the
launch of Vision Estate was widely covered
in national and metropolitan media. The
novelty of having an alternative local energy
supply coupled with cheaper energy bills
was celebrated, as was the concept of
district energy as part of the solution to
Australia’s growing energy needs.
Courtesy GridX Power Pty. Ltd. Photo Chris Geisner.
Colin Chambers, chief executive officer of GridX,
and Tanya Ha, environmentalist, author and television personality, during the April 2007 media
launch of Vision Estate.
Since then, the GridX system has won
numerous high-profile environmental awards.
At a July 20 ceremony in Sydney, GridX
received one of Australia’s most coveted
environmental honors: the 2007 Banksia
Climate Award. Conferred by the Banksia
Environmental Foundation, the award
recognizes the company’s environmental
leadership and partnership with Mirvac to
create the groundbreaking trigeneration
system. The company has also achieved
the Climate Award and the President’s
Winner of the Winners Award from the
(Australian) Urban Development Industry
Association; an Excellence in Energy Award,
in the category of Achieving More With
Less, from the Australian Institute of Energy;
and a special commendation from
Australia’s Housing Industry Association.
The GridX system uses natural gas-powered generators situated on site to
supply electricity and capture the byproduct of generation, hot and cold water for
heating and cooling purposes. According
to GridX Chief Executive Officer Colin
Chambers, the system is thought to be the
only one in the world using locally produced
trigeneration to supply district energy in
the greenfield mass housing sector.
“Our system provides higher reliability,
lower energy bills and more sustainable
energy at no extra cost to consumers and
developers,” said Chambers. “Many Australian
developers see their growth inhibited by
electricity network constraints, so the trigeneration capability offered by GridX is
a timely solution to their power requirements.” Increasingly, many GridX projects
are initially driven by the power constraints
within the networks that support Australia’s
major cities rather than concerns about
The environmental benefits of using
GridX trigeneration include an immediate
33 percent reduction in greenhouse gases
compared to coal-fired electricity generation
and increased efficiencies in transmission
and thermal energy use. As there are minimal transmission losses, the system is
around 70 percent to 80 percent efficient
compared to less than 35 percent to 50
percent with the national power grid.
The first 16 homes that were connected
reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 256
tonnes/year. Once the second phase of
Vision Estate is connected to the trigeneration system, the reduction of CO2
emissions will equal the removal of 864 cars
from the road each year.
The energy produced by the system,
together with the heat generated and cli-mate-controlled water supply, means that
the GridX system’s energy conversion
efficiency can reach up to 80 percent. This
is more than twice the efficiency of traditional coal-produced electricity.
Electricity costs in the state of New
South Wales, where Vision Estate is located,
are projected to increase 26 percent over
the next three years. By comparison, Vision
Estate residents will pay 10 percent less
for electricity as a result of the efficiencies
gained through the GridX system. In addition, as electricity is generated on site, residents are immune from the grid failures
and blackouts that occasionally occur in
the surrounding area. Lights stay on at the
Vision Estate when the surrounding area
is temporarily in darkness.
Many GridX projects are
initially driven by the
power constraints within
the networks that support
Australia’s major cities
rather than concerns
Residents also enjoy a continuous
supply of hot water from the GridX hot
water tank and energy system. The homes
are equipped with specially designed
dishwashers and clothes dryers that maximize the system’s heating capacity. Hot
water created as a byproduct from the
process of generating electricity is used
directly in these domestic appliances to
deliver around 75 percent greater energy
efficiency than a standard appliance.
Vince Lipari, who has been living at
Vision Estate for almost a year, found the
environmental and financial benefits of
owning a GridX-powered home compelling.
In fact, “They were factors that helped
make the decision to purchase the house,”
he said. “GridX has made a step in the
right direction, especially with global
warming being a main issue at the moment.
Energy savings, less emissions and saving
10 percent on your electricity bills are great
advantages to living at Vision Estate. …
I believe that GridX Power is the future
in new residential communities.”