A multi-energy system ideated by the University of Udine (now implemented) to reduce primary energy consumption and emisisons in the municipality of Udine
The idea: create a district multi-energy system based on use of cascading energy in the territory that would encourage cooperation and synergies between different public and private stakeholders towards common energy saving objectives starting from the valorisation and specificity of the territories. The opportunity stems from the revamping of the hospital complex power plant and it is the first case in Italy in which a hospital's trigenerative power plant feeds a city network. The system consists of a trigenerative plant (86 MWt, 9.7 MWe, 26 MWf) bi-fuelled (NG + bio-oil) with a photovoltaic plant and a 13 km long district heating network that recovers the thermal waste from the hospital to meet the thermal requirements of university,public/private buildings and schools. The system had three innovation.
1.Design. the system was optimized to minimize NG consumption for the Hospital, University building and surrounding at the same time, in according with the guiding principles of the 2050 roadmap.
2.Thecnical. Use of cold storage to cover the peaks in cooling needs. In addition, the cogenerators operate at maximum efficiency thanks to the "Cold Switch concept between absorption chillers and electric ones.
3.Management. Is an exemple of the innovative potential deriving from the use of public-private contractual schemes if there is cooperation among institutions In order to promote the project, the University switched off its own power stations and signed a 30-year contract.

Resources needed

The development of the project required a high technical and legal skills as well as the use of public and private capital. The overall investment for construction and management (for almost 30 years) of this system with city district heating network, is estimated at about 97 million euro.

Evidence of success

With the new system, which includes an area of 3 km2 in Udine, primary energy consumption was reduced by around 12% per year (30,974 MWh/yr) and greenhouse gas emissions reduced by 33% per year (16,920 tCO2/yr) in comparison to the old system.The project is also an example of the importance of properly choosing the right legal instruments,such as a PPPs,for the development of innovative energy transition projects,in a quadruple helix perspective and with the involvement of all local stakeholders

Difficulties encountered

The project highlighted the importance of applying a correct and modern legal approach in the development of innovative projects for achieving the energy transition, in particular by highlighting the fundamental role of public-private partnerships.

Potential for learning or transfer

The smart multi-enegy system power plant of Udine represents an important good practice not only from a technical point of view, of solutions that can be implemented for the achievement of energy sustainability at local level, but also from a legal perspective. It is indeed a fundamental example that reminds public administrations not to underestimate underlying legal profiles connected to innovative projects. It in fact constitutes a central aspect for the development of truly innovative solutions capable of achieving energy efficiency goals on university campuses, but also with regard to all other public buildings.
Is also an exemple of How the University can be a real promotor of innovation in the territory
Main institution
University of Udine
Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy (Italia)
Start Date
May 2014
End Date


Patrizia Simeoni Please login to contact the author.