A long-term back-up electricity power plant is set to be installed as part of the South Australian Government’s plan for the state to take charge of its energy future. Installation is set to be completed ahead of summer.

Rather than just procuring temporary generators, the Government will purchase nine new GE TM2500 aero derivative turbines through APR Energy, providing up to 276MW of generation to the grid when required.

The hybrid turbine power plant will initially be installed at two locations, the Adelaide Desalination Plant at Lonsdale and at the General Motors Holden site at Elizabeth, operating on diesel fuel over the next two summers, before being relocated to a permanent location as a state-owned power plant operating on gas.

The state-owned power plant will be able to generate more power than the 250MW originally outlined in the energy plan.

SA Premier Jay Weatherill said, “Rather than purchasing temporary generators before building a new gas plant, this solution will deliver long-term back-up generation for South Australia before this summer.

“Importantly, this solution will deliver more generation capacity than originally planned, while emitting less carbon pollution than Torrens Island Power Station.”

While operating on diesel at the temporary locations the power plant will emit 25 per cent less CO2 per megawatt hour than the former Northern Power Station. Once operating on gas, they will be more efficient than Torrens Island Power Station.

GE’s TM2500 units are cleaner and quieter than competitors in the market including diesel reciprocating engines, producing up to 94 per cent lower nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions, significantly less particulate matter and up to 20 per cent less noise.

The power plant will be tested monthly and only dispatched to the grid when required to prevent an electricity supply shortfall.

The costs will be met within the overall $550 million budget of the energy plan. The power plant is being supplied by APR Energy following a competitive tendering process conducted by SA Power Networks and have a lifespan of about 25 years.


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