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CELSIUS Site Genoa


Project status



The city of Genoa is one of the first Italian cities to commit to the implementation and promotion of the smart city holistic approach and has invested efforts into involving diverse stakeholders to work together with the objective of making a real change in sustainability. 

As part of their smart city strategy, Genoa participated as a demonstrator in the CELSIUS project with the aim of increasing the overall energy efficiency associated with the industrial gas distribution activity. A local energy system connected to the nearby industrial park has been developed within an important area of the city. The main components are an expansion turbine by which mechanical energy is recovered from the pressure drop between the gas transmission and distribution pressures, a combined heat and power (CHP) plant and a control system for both electricity and gas consumption.

The implemented measures in Genoa allow shifting from the current use of low-efficiency independent heating systems, which are still widespread in the city of Genoa, to higher efficiency heating solutions, thus reducing the overall fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

Demo Site Expected Impact

The maximum thermal output of the CHP plant of Genoa is 300 kW and 1076 kW of power. The heating generated by the internal combustion engine will be fed into the district heating network at 70 °C.

According to the design data, the final energy input fed to the system equals 7 million kWh/yr of gas with an overall system performance of 21 %, and 7 million kWh/yr of electricity with an overall system performance of 73 %.

This results in a primary energy reduction of the area of 6100 MWh/year, while the CO2 is reduced by 1336 tonnes per year.


Buildings and energy

The approach in Genoa includes the following measures:

Energy systems integration

  • Cogeneration (CHP)
    • The expansion turbine is interfaced with a gas-fired CHP plant that will service the heat that is used in the expansion process. The CHP plant services a small heating network as well, which supplies several buildings inside the industrial park, including the fire fighters’ station outside the park. The control and fine regulation of gas consumption for pre-heating, as well as the programming of the electricity to be distributed to the district, are implemented in association with this plant, in order to achieve a more rational use of both gas and electricity within the industrial park and the district.
  • Waste-to-energy
    • Installation of a turbo-expander able to recover the mechanical energy inherent in the pressurised natural gas (currently wasted) in order to generate electricity

The total investment costs are EUR 3.021 million with a total of EUR 1 497 million in grants. The calculated payback period is 10 years.

Energy Carriers

  • Domestic gas - grid-bound
  • Electricity

Energy Systems Types

  • Sustainable Generation
  • Co-generation

Thematic Field

  • Energy System(s) Integration

Energy recovery from the natural gas distribution network

View more visualisations of CELSIUS Site Genoa


Paolo Castiglieri
City of Genova