RMIT University case study

Saving $120 million in energy

The Federal Government wanted RMIT University to become more energy efficient and reduce their carbon footprint. We helped them save $120 million within an eight-year period.

Client Name: Siemens

Location: Melbourne CBD

Project Value: $7 million

Start Date: October 2015

Completion Date: January 2017

As part of the Sustainable Urban Precincts Project (SUPP), we were engaged to deliver $120 million in energy efficiencies to RMIT University within eight years.

To achieve this, we converted RMIT from a low voltage power customer to a high voltage power customer, providing them with an independent High Voltage Ring Main Network that fed electricity through four new sub-stations. This new High Voltage network will dramatically decrease operational costs, being far more efficient to run as well as easier to maintain, also removing the risk of power outages in each campus.

As part of the conversion process, new electrical switchboards had to be designed and manufactured that fed high voltage power into the existing low voltage system. Thanks to our extensive in-house resources within the Trivantage Group, our project manager completely oversaw the engineering, manufacturing and installation of these switchboards.

This not only ensured the client had one point of contact for both infrastructure and manufacturing works, it also meant the electrical switchboards were tailored to specific project considerations. For example, the switchboards had to fit within a confined space. So we designed and manufactured more compact switchboards that still remained compliant with Australian standards.

These were also easy to install, easy to maintain and had a smaller carbon footprint. Other technological innovations included multiple incoming and outgoing supplies, a complex bus-tie interlocking system and an intelligent protective system for the installation process.

Another significant aspect of the project was the implementation of a new Cogeneration plant, which uses waste products from the air conditioning system to create electricity for the university. With all initiatives combined, this project will reduce electricity usage over eight years by an estimated 263 million kilowatt hours, leading to a 32,000 tonne reduction in greenhouse emissions.