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A new clean energy centre for Dunedin possibly using biomass - forestry residue and wood chips that produce clean energy - is the next major infrastructure plan for the city.
The centre would involve a reticulation centre taking hot water for heating around the central city.
The Dunedin City Council, University of Otago, Southern District Health Board and the Ministry of Health have agreed to jointly investigate the idea.
While the idea would involve major work to lay pipes through the central city, council energy plan co-ordinator Jeremy Baker said it could be done as other major projects like the new Dunedin hospital build and the central city upgrade happen.
Council chief executive Sue Bidrose, said a memorandum of understanding signed by the organisations represented ''a commitment from the signatories to collaboratively look at new clean-energy options for the central city, with real economic and environmental benefits.
''The first step will be preparation of a business case, so we’re getting that underway.
''This is the perfect time to get this investigation rolling because there are several other complementary initiatives on line.
''We have the construction of the new hospital, the planned central city upgrade and examination of the State Highway 1 one-way pair, which could all offer potential for efficiencies around infrastructure installation.
''There’s also the greenhouse gas emission goals set by the DCC and central government.”