News | 27 November 2018

Alinta Energy Geothermal launches at Fairwater in Blacktown

Geothermal

Fairwater is being developed by Frasers Property Australia and is the first 6-Star Green Star community in New South Wales.

 

Following the recent acquisition of a geothermal heating and cooling business, Alinta Energy launched Alinta Energy Geothermal at the Fairwater housing estate on Thursday 22 November in Blacktown.

Fairwater is being developed by Frasers Property Australia and is the first 6-Star Green Star community in New South Wales. With more than 800 homes it is also the largest residential geothermal installation in the southern hemisphere. 

Alinta Energy MD & CEO, Jeff Dimery said that with 1.1 million customers and growing, the acquisition and launch of the business represented the biggest commercial backing of geothermal heating and cooling technology in Australia. 

“There is a massive untapped, but growing, appetite for geothermal heating and cooling in Australia.

“We’ve just had testing back from the CSIRO showing that in lab conditions our units are about twice as efficient as standard air conditioners; and even more on very hot days.

“It may seem odd for an energy retailer, but we are backing this magnificent technology precisely because it will lower our customers’ energy usage and their monthly or quarterly bills, and put more money back in their hands.

“We want to demonstrate that when we talk about being determined to deliver more affordable energy to our customers – we mean it,” said Mr Dimery. 

Ray Baksmati, Development Director - Frasers Property Australia, said the technology had delivered tangible benefits to the residents of Fairwater, including lower energy costs, and a sense of pride from owning such an innovative technology. 

“Frasers Property is very proud to be associated with Alinta Energy Geothermal and is keen to see how Alinta will progress this technology into the wider Australian market,” he said. 

Alinta Energy Geothermal uses Australian-made geothermal heating and cooling units called GeoAir. Residential installations typically involve drilling a single a 70-80 metre hole to house a ‘loop’ (a metal pipe) filled with refrigerant, which is used to either reject or collect heat from underground, where the temperature remains constant.

Mr Dimery says Alinta Energy is developing a suite of complementary technologies to pair with the geothermal heating and cooling units to dramatically improve the energy efficiency of new homes.

“We’re working on a hot water solution to pair with the geothermal units that is very promising. Heating and cooling represents around 40 per cent of household energy usage, and water heating is another 20 per cent. So, once you plug in solar panels, geothermal heating, cooling and hot water, and even a battery – that’s going to lower the costs of electrical and gas infrastructure in new housing developments and get those monthly bills right down for residents.

“The application of this technology isn’t just limited to domestic settings. The business has successfully rolled out over 11,000kW of geothermal heating and air conditioning capacity to offices, restaurants, aged care facilities, medical centres and more. We also have in place contracts in place for an additional 18,000 kW,” said Mr Dimery.