Galway’s Leisureland Complex is a leisure centre and swimming pool owned by Galway City Council. The centre is open to the public seven days per week, 16-18 hours per day, with a simultaneous electric and heating load during these hours.
This case study relates to the climate mitigation action undertaken in 2011 and 2012 to upgrade an existing 32-year-old heating system at the leisure centre from oil to natural gas boilers with the onsite co-generation of electricity using a CHP system. At the time of project inception in 2009, the Leisureland complex had an annual electricity consumption of 1,800MWh and a heating fuel consumption of 3,500MWh, which together represented 19% of the City Council’s total annual energy consumption, including water services.
A detailed feasibility study was undertaken, with support from the SEAI, to assess the viability of CHP and to determine the optimum size of plant and unit selection based on summer baseload heating.
In 2011/2012, the entire heating system at the Leisureland complex was upgraded, switching the main fuel supply from oil to natural gas and incorporating a CHP system for onsite electricity generation. This project upgrade was supported through the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport Energy Efficiency in Local Authority Swimming Pools Programme.
In advance of this work schedule, Galway City Council disconnected the existing oil boiler and installed a temporary (hired) 550kW oil boiler (oil supply from existing tank) to supply heat demand. This strategy allowed the facility to operate as normal during the removal of all redundant units and the installation of the new system plant and equipment.
Benefits of Solution
This project provided an estimated emission saving of approximately 712,072kg CO2 equivalent per year. In addition, the consumption of natural gas instead of oil resulted in the burning of a cleaner fuel with less air pollution. The natural gas was also consumed to generate electricity at the local level, displacing imported electricity that has a much higher carbon intensity factor. The removal of oil storage from site within this project upgrade also eliminated a number of health and safety hazards and risks from the Galway City Council Risk Register.
This climate action continues to make a major contribution to Galway City Council making progress towards meeting its energy efficiency of 33% by 2020 relative to 2009 energy usage.