Gas Power Plant To Be Purchased By South Australia State Govt

Gas Power Plant To Be Purchased By South Australia State Govt

South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill

State Government Purchases Gas Power Plant

Victor P Taffa

South Australians now own their own power plant for the first time since the privatisation of ETSA, after the State Government today exercised an option to purchase 9 GE TM2500 aero derivative turbines.

“Every South Australian knows the consequences of the disastrous privatisation of ETSA by Rob Lucas and the Liberals.” Premier Jay Weatherill said.

“They locked in higher prices and handed control of our grid over to private operators whose first priority is profit.”

Option to purchase the back-up power plant, which was initially leased and installed at 2 temporary locations in time for summer, was exercised so that work on relocating the generators to a permanent location operating on gas could progress as soon as possible.

Premier and Energy Minister signed documents today, delivering greater self-sufficiency for South Australia.

“Privately-run national electricity market is failing around the country, but in South Australia, we stand ready to protect households and businesses from unnecessary supply shortfalls.” Minister for Energy Tom Koutsantonis said.

State Government is currently undertaking consultation on a number of permanent sites that meet the requirements of being adjacent to both the gas and electricity transmission networks.

State-owned power plant will fall under the purview of the new Energy and Water Services (E&WS) Department.

Liberal Party has promised to privatise the power plant.

Background

South Australia’s 276 MW power plant was procured as part of the State Government’s energy plan to provide back-up power in emergency situations to help prevent unnecessary load-shedding, such as what occurred in February when 90,000 households lost power because the market operator decided to switch off homes, rather than switch on available generation.

New GE TM2500 aero derivative turbines have been connected to the grid at 2 temporary locations the former General Motors Holden site at Elizabeth and the Adelaide Desalination Plant at Lonsdale, where they will operate on diesel for the next 2 summers.

They will then be moved to a permanent location as a State-owned power plant operating on gas.

While operating on diesel, the plant is 25 % cleaner than the former Northern Power Station, and once operating on gas, will be cleaner and more efficient than the gas-fired Torrens Island Power Station.

Abbreviations

ETSA              Electricity Trust of South Australia