Site Visit

The Ausgrid Learning Centre, in Silverwater, is Australia’s major learning centre for the largest group of apprentices in-training for a single company in New South Wales.

The 6 Star Green Star campus-style 15,000 m2 education facility, brings together Ausgrid’s many areas of electrical (energy provider) training. These areas include power worker training, technical training, network operating standards and accreditation, corporate learning and development, technical research and regulatory training and graduate programs.  Technicians, Apprentices and Trainees work on life-size electrical installations in a controlled environment in the highly specialized workshop.

The 1.7 hectare site also includes a real-world electricity network to train in smart grid technologies. The main building incorporates a tri-generation plant, built to produce enough electricity to power more than 50 average homes for a year and to heat and cool the building.

The Learning Centre has been designed with a number of features to reduce energy and water use in mind. One of the most important features is the ability of the building to monitor and display its energy and water use, helping staff to recognise and reduce their impact.

Geothermal bores provide cool water for the air conditioning plant, while a hollow core slab thermal mass system maintains building temperature more evenly. A 260-panel, 51 kilowatt photovoltaic system has been installed on the roof and rainwater is collected in a 147,000 litre rainwater tank. The centre also includes 10 electric vehicle charging stations.

Purpose-built training features such as a pole yard for heights training, jointing pits for cable jointers and electrical mechanics workshops have been catered for. A substation simulator, allowing apprentices to hone their skills in different simulated electrical environments has also been installed.