Australian War Memorial ‘leads Australia’ with geothermal

3 mins read

The Australian War Memorial will lead the nation with a new green energy project, delivering the largest closed loop underground geothermal technology heating and cooling system in Australia as part of the current development and expansion.

“This is a great example of how the nation can reach net zero through smart, green technology,” Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen said.

“This is also a major step toward a net zero Australian Government.” 

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Matt Keogh said the Geothermal Heat Exchange (GHX) will be funded within the War Memorial’s existing development package, and will use the earth’s energy to help heat and cool the Memorial.

“The Australian War Memorial is an iconic national institution, commemorating those who secured our future. So it’s fitting that this institution now leads the way in securing our energy future. 

“The development underway at the Memorial will ensure our military history and the veterans who have served our nation are acknowledged as they deserve. They fought for this country, now it’s up to all of us to preserve it for generations to come.” 

The Director of the Australian War Memorial, Matt Anderson, says the new system will dramatically reduce energy costs and greenhouse gases (GHGs) by using the ground’s relatively consistent temperature and thermal potential.

“It will be one of the largest geothermal installations of its type in the world, with up to 128kms of pipe installed to decrease the Memorial’s energy usage,” Mr Anderson said.

“By harnessing our natural resources onsite this new generation of geothermal system will save the Memorial approximately $1.3 million dollars each year on heating and cooling. 

“This innovative approach is perfectly suited to the Australian War Memorial. We hope it will be a model for other sustainable projects that are considering geothermal technology.”

The installation will include up to 320 vertical closed loop boreholes, drilled up to 150 metres deep, across the Eastern Precinct, including under the Memorial’s Bean Building, bus park and grounds. 

The pioneering design, by Sydney based GeoExchange Australia, will use the latest technology, offering more than 40 per cent of energy efficiency over older geothermal systems. 

“As we head toward carbon zero, the Australian War Memorial is tapping into renewable thermal energy stored in the ground. We will use the earth’s temperature to heat and cool, unlocking sustainable ways to provide a comfortable environment for our visitors and for the protection of the national collection,” Mr Anderson said. 

“The project eliminates production of up to a thousand tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent a year.

“It is the equivalent of transporting about 87,500 students a year from Sydney to Canberra return to visit the Australian War Memorial carbon free.

“In a place that commemorates the past, this project firmly places the Australian War Memorial as a world-class building of the future.” 


Office of the Hon Chris Bowen MP – 
Office of the Hon Matt Keogh MP – Stephanie Mathews – 0407 034 485 
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