Former Trieste petrol refinery to become park powered by ‘water batteries’

Images courtesy of Carlo Ratti Associati
Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA) has designed a masterplan for a 365,000 sq m seafront park on the site of a former oil refinery.

The masterplan will open up a previously inaccessible area of Trieste’s industrial port, which faces the Adriatic Sea at its northernmost point, and linking it to the neighbouring municipality of Muggia.

The project will include energy facilities, green areas, urban farms and an Innovation Park with a biotech research facility.

The development will repurpose six 15m-high oil tanks as “water batteries” with a capacity of 110,000 cubic metres.

Solar energy will be used to turn the tanks into “pumped storage” plants. Seawater will be moved to elevated tanks so that they can be poured back into the sea, turning turbines as they go.

Carlo Ratti said: “One of today’s major challenges is the transformation of the 20th-century industrial and energy legacy infrastructure we have in our cities.

“Our project in Trieste manifests this ambition in a striking way – the same pipes that were polluting the environment can now power the green revolution.”

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