100% Renewable Brimbank Aquatic and Wellness Centre


The Brimbank Aquatic and Wellness Centre (BAWC) is Australia's first 100 per cent renewable energy powered, zero greenhouse gas emissions aquatic centre. This represents a significant milestone in the advancement sustainability in aquatic centres in Australia.

This project was recipient of an Advancing Renewables Program grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA)



What is a 100% renewable aquatic centre?

Brimbank City Council’s Climate Emergency Plan 2020-2025 commits Council to reaching net-zero emissions by 2030 for Council operations, and by 2040 for the Brimbank municipality as a whole.

Aquatic centres are by far the most energy and emission intensive of all council managed facilities due to gas boilers heating large volumes of water. The Brimbank Aquatic and Wellness Centre (BAWC) showcases the commercial viability of transitioning to all-electric renewable energy powered centres.

This is enabled by the following features:

  • A four pipe heat pump for simultaneous use in pool, domestic water, space heating and cooling throughout the centre
  • An integrated heat recovery system
  • A high quality thermal building envelope
  • A 500kW onsite rooftop solar PV system
  • A thermal energy storage system with a capacity of 88,000L to store excess energy generated by the PV system
  • Remaining electricity needs for the centre purchased from wind farms in regional Victoria via the long term Victorian Energy Collaboration (VECO) power purchase agreement contract.

    Heat Pumps and Energy Storage System in BAWC Plant

    BAWC Water Pump

Key findings after one year of operation

Building BAWC as an efficient all-electric facility was intended to create significant ongoing savings in operation, to mitigate a higher capital cost compared to the equivalent centre if designed as a conventional gas powered centre. Analysis of our building energy data shows that by being all-electric, Council saved over $260,000 in the first year of the centre’s operation compared to an equivalent gas powered centre. This means the extra capital outlay to build all-electric (approximated at $1.1m) will be paid back in under five years if current gas prices continue.

BAWC’s operational building performance also shows a 76% energy use reduction compared to conventional gas powered aquatic centres. As Brimbank purchases renewable grid electricity and the centre is all-electric, BAWC has no greenhouse gas emissions in operation. Compared to a business-as-usual gas design, the centre is modelled to avoid 1,192 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year, approximately 17 per cent reduction of Council’s overall annual emissions.

BAWC challenges the status quo of building and operating energy intensive, gas fuelled aquatic centres. Its construction is assisting in resolving questions regarding the all-electric model’s technical, financial and operational characteristics that have stood in the way of its widespread application in aquatic centres.

The Brimbank Aquatic and Wellness Centre is proof of concept and provides a working example to replicate in Victoria and areas of similar climate across Australia.

If you have any further enquiries about renewable energy at the Brimbank Aquatic and Wellness Centre please contact Ashley Onori, Climate Emergency Officer, Brimbank City Council: E-mail

Last updated: 24 May 2024 - 4:01pm