News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

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rhino
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Two new power stations for SA

#1 Post by rhino » Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:27 pm

From today's Advertiser:

MATT WILLIAMS, KIM WHEATLEY

TWO new power stations worth $870 million are being planned for South Australia in a move that could ease strain on the state's electricity network.

Corporate firms Babcock & Brown and NP Power will this month apply to the Development Assessment Commission to build a 450MW gas-fired peaking power station at Redbanks, near Mallala.
The project, estimated to cost $350 million, has been endorsed by the State Government as a "public infrastructure development" under section 49 of the Development Act.

A separate 560MW power station, valued at $520 million, has been foreshadowed as part of Altona Resources' $3.9 billion proposal to produce petroleum and gas in the state's Far North.

If approved, the two power stations would become the state's second and third biggest, behind Torrens Island's 800MW generator.

The Mallala power station is likely to be operated by Flinders Power, a subsidiary of Babcock & Brown, which directs power into the SA and national electricity markets.

Power from the Far North project would be supplied to the national electricity grid and sold on to consumers. Last year, the Electricity Supply Industry Planning Council warned of looming electricity reserve shortages in SA saying new investment in power generation was "essential" to meet continuing growth in demand.

The Advertiser has obtained specific details of the Mallala project showing it would be built on 10ha of land at Helps Rd in Redbanks, about 55km north of Adelaide.

The project would be carried out in three stages with each stage capable of producing 150MW of power. On average, SA uses 1400MW each day which can double during peak times.

Construction at the Redbanks site is expected to start in July but the project would be subjected to comment from the public and Environment Protection Authority before being approved.

The power station is described as "peaking" because it would only operate at times of peak electricity demand. It would use open-cycle gas turbine engines fuelled by natural gas to generate electricity. The gas would be supplied through the Moomba to Adelaide gas pipeline which intersects the development site.

Babcock & Brown and NP Power would not reveal the cost of the project.

A spokesman for Transport, Energy and Infrastructure minister Pat Conlon said the State Government was "aware the companies are investigating the proposal and will await further developments".

Redbanks farmer John Worden was yesterday supportive of the proposal, saying it would create jobs during construction.

As part of their proposal, the companies say the power station would produce "low greenhouse gas emissions" and would "meet or exceed" EPA requirements.

Over the past 20 years, NP Power's employees have been responsible for projects valued at $17 billion, and providing around 7000MW of generating capacity.

Babcock & Brown have financially-backed and developed several power projects, including the $460 million Lake Bonney wind farm in the state's South-East.

The Altona Resources project involves three mining exploration licences covering 2500sq km in the northern portion of the Permian Arckaringa Basin.

Adelaide-based Altona Resources director Phil Sutherland, who is a former chief executive of the SA Chamber of Mines and Energy, said the project was still in the development phase.

It would take between seven and 10 years for the project to commence and would also need State Government approval.

A spokesman for Mineral Resources Development minister Paul Holloway said the State Government was helping Altona Resources with their project.
cheers,
Rhino

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#2 Post by stelaras » Tue Mar 06, 2007 3:03 pm

maybe this will stop excessive and frequent power outages!!

The reason why SA has many power outages is the way that the grid is set up and the ratio of residential homes to businesses..

In most eastern states that ratio is about 60:40 in favour of businesses....What that means is that larger industry requires continuous power, thus the power supplies keep on feeding the grid, this continuous requirement doesnt cause spikes in the grid which are caused by residential homes all of a sudden requiring more power (because of heatwaves etc)

In SA, the ratio of homes:business is about 70:30 in favour of residential. That means that system always overloads during peak periods (heatwaves etc) because the SA grid cant handle the spikes as the main power plants feed the grid according to demand (which is never calculated in advance)

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News & Discussion: Electricity Infrastructure

#3 Post by Norman » Tue Nov 06, 2007 1:54 am

From AdelaideNow: http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/stor ... 82,00.html
New wind farm on the way
FRANCES STEWART
November 06, 2007 01:15am

ENERGY company AGL will build its third wind farm in South Australia, the facility to become operational by late 2009.

The 34 turbines will generate 71 megawatts and be built at Hallett Hill, 170km north of Adelaide. The wind farm is one of three under development in SA, where six already operate.

AGL managing director Michael Fraser said the new facility would make AGL the nation's largest private renewable energy supplier.

"The Hallett Hill wind farm will significantly add to AGL's capability to self-supply its renewable generation needs," he said.

At a cost of $166 million over two years, the project will create 150 jobs when construction begins in January next year. The wind farm will be built about 20km from the 45 turbines at AGL's Brown Hill project.

"These two projects, combined with Wattle Point, will bring the total number of wind turbines under AGL's management in South Australia to 134, with a total capacity of 257 megawatts," Mr Fraser said.

"The wind farm will provide enough renewable energy to power 40,000 average Australian households and abate approximately 250,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide."

Premier Mike Rann said the new development showed that SA was within reach of renewable energy targets set for 2014.

"We are well on track to achieve the legislated target of 20 per cent of our state's power generated from renewable sources by the end of 2009," he said.

Hallett Hill will also be eligible to supply renewable energy under proposed federal schemes.

The project will be structured so either a sale similar to that undertaken for AGL's Brown Hill wind farm or other funding structures can be pursued by the company.

A decision is expected on the future ownership structure towards the end of the 2008 financial year.

AGL will contract all electricity output and green credits and will maintain the operations and management contract.

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Re: New Wind Farms for SA

#4 Post by duke » Tue Nov 06, 2007 10:48 am

Hmm my grandparents farm is near there. I wonder how they can get in on the action. Would be awesome to see some turbines on their farm. I think its what all farmers should be doing also. They farm, why be limited to farming wheat, sheep, etc, they should be 'farming' the wind and the sun also. With out drought problems it would help the farmers help themselves also. They would have a guaranteed base income from the wind turbines, the wheat they grow would be an added benefit.
Maybe the government instead of giving cash handouts should give cash to build wind turbines on the struggling farms. Its an investment that keeps on giving. Its good for the farmers and its good for everyone else.

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Re: New Wind Farms for SA

#5 Post by jimmy_2486 » Tue Nov 06, 2007 5:23 pm

Thats actually a smart idea.....if there is soo much heat oozing into the farms killing crops with no rain.....well think smart....farm heat into power, and maybe wind. This would help the city people out heaps.

Wow that would be cool actually.

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Re: New Wind Farms for SA

#6 Post by Bulldozer » Wed Nov 07, 2007 12:29 am

jimmy_2486 wrote:Wow that would be cool actually.
Nevermind the huge costs involved in re-engineering the grid to handle it. SA is already close to the limit for wind power on the grid - apparently around 20% and then the intermittency of it starts to disrupt the stability of the grid.

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Re: New Wind Farms for SA

#7 Post by duke » Wed Nov 07, 2007 10:08 am

Bulldozer wrote:
jimmy_2486 wrote:Wow that would be cool actually.
Nevermind the huge costs involved in re-engineering the grid to handle it. SA is already close to the limit for wind power on the grid - apparently around 20% and then the intermittency of it starts to disrupt the stability of the grid.
I don't think it would be too hard to handle. If the grid can't handle any more power from wind at a specific point in time then it could switch over to some form of storage. Could use batteries for storage, or convert water into hydrogen for sending off to where it is needed later, or have a closed loop system. Generate hydrogen from water. When power is needed burn the hydrogen in an engine to generate power which returns water to a storage tank. I know its very inefficient but its better than nothing.

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Re: New Wind Farms for SA

#8 Post by AtD » Wed Nov 07, 2007 9:14 pm

duke wrote:I don't think it would be too hard to handle. If the grid can't handle any more power from wind at a specific point in time then it could switch over to some form of storage. Could use batteries for storage, or convert water into hydrogen for sending off to where it is needed later, or have a closed loop system. Generate hydrogen from water. When power is needed burn the hydrogen in an engine to generate power which returns water to a storage tank. I know its very inefficient but its better than nothing.
Those would be some f'n big batteries, the cost would be prohibitive.

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Re: New Wind Farms for SA

#9 Post by muzzamo » Wed Nov 07, 2007 11:26 pm

I wonder if this would do it:
Image

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Re: New Wind Farms for SA

#10 Post by Bulldozer » Thu Nov 08, 2007 1:15 am

AtD wrote:Those would be some f'n big batteries, the cost would be prohibitive.
Indeed. But I wasn't talking about storage, I was referring to modifying the grid to handle increased power flows and flows in different directions and the need to install communications lines to control generators and power distribution.

It'd be easier and more economic to build a reactor next to Port Augusta's power stations and upgrade the existing transmission lines to handle the power, although I doubt the farmers will benefit from it like they would with hosting wind turbines. :)

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Re: New Wind Farms for SA

#11 Post by duke » Mon Nov 12, 2007 4:45 pm

Greens unveil farm renewable energy plan
Struggling farmers would become renewable energy generators under a new Greens plan aimed at rejuvenating rural Australia and reducing carbon emissions.

The Greens believe their plan would give farmers whose drought-ravaged land is no longer agriculturally viable a way to make a living without moving away.

Under the plan, mapping would take place to match areas where the viability of traditional agriculture is declining with areas which have excellent renewable energy resources.

Links between governments, rural communities and renewable energy developers would then be built.

Landowners would then enter into lease or partnership arrangements with renewable-energy companies to see their land converted into renewable energy farms.

Governments would use revenue from the sale of a carbon-emissions trading scheme permits to fund interconnecters to the main energy grid.

Greens leader Bob Brown said climate change posed a tremendous threat to rural Australians and the new plan would help them profit by becoming part of the solution.

"This is really good, new, bright thinking for this country," Mr Brown told reporters.

His Senate colleague Christine Milne said a tragedy was unfolding in rural and regional Australia, and neither the government nor the opposition were providing more than band-aid solutions.

"It is not good enough in the midst of the drought to rush out with an Akubra hat and a relief cheque and pray for rain," Senator Milne said.

Senator Milne said the plan would provide returns to farmers currently getting none.

"Farmers can't grow their crops because there is no rain and, in fact, they are getting into more and more debt as they are promised that this drought will break," she said.

"And, of course, the scientists are saying in many areas that just won't be the case."

Senator Milne said the farming renewable energy plan would help Australia achieve the Greens' proposed binding target of 25 per cent renewables in the energy supply mix by 2020, providing one-tenth of the emissions reductions necessary to meet the 2020 target.

O...M...G.... The Greens stole my idea... Are they reading this forum.. :shock:

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Re: New Wind Farms for SA

#12 Post by jimmy_2486 » Wed Nov 14, 2007 11:08 pm

hmm well maybe they are......which is a good thing....you might save the environment duke!!

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ETSA $1.5 Billion Infrastructure upgrade

#13 Post by Jim » Sun Aug 03, 2008 10:53 pm

ETSA Utilities plans to double its current infrastructure spending to $1.5 billion in the five years to 2015 to refurbish an ageing network to keep pace with the state's predicted growth.

An ETSA public consultation document says many of the network's substations, transformers, poles and wires were constructed in the 1950s and 60s with a design life of 40 to 50 years.

It said there was a need for an "urgent and significant" infrastructure renewal program, funding for which needs to "ramp up significantly".

ETSA chief executive officer Lew Owens believes the average residential bill of about $1200 a year is likely to rise by about $20 to cover the cost.

"Its impact on price is quite small, we only expect a modest rise, a few per cent because its capital expenditure over 40 years," he said.

"Our prices are only about one third of the delivered price, where we expect the increases to be is in the actual cost of the energy, the generation, with gas prices going up with the carbon pricing and the 20 per cent renewables."

The distribution network has confirmed a mass roll-out of smart meters is unlikely to go ahead in SA because of the $600 million cost.

Instead, ETSA is looking towards expanding its so-called direct load control program up to 2015.

The program, which operates at Mawson Lakes and Glenelg, involves ETSA sending a signal to turn off airconditioning for 15 minutes every hour during peak demand.

A program of undergrounding powerlines has also been ruled out because of the cost although that does not apply to new subdivisions.

Mr Owens said the mining and defence booms were not the greatest challenge to the network, rather it was growing urban demand, particularly as homes used more sophisticated technology.

"Our existing network was built to handle the quarter acre block with a house and three power points and four globes, but suddenly they're being knocked down and replaced with six units with sophisticated electrical requirements," he said.

"And the network and transformers aren't up to delivering the requirements of the more dense populations."

The Australian Energy Regulator makes the final decisions on ETSA's $1.5 billion network upgrade.



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Re: ETSA $1.5 Billion Infrastructure upgrade

#14 Post by Norman » Sun Aug 03, 2008 11:09 pm

I think the undergrounding of powerlines should still be a priority. The stobie poles and associated wires are ugly, dangerous and unreliable. Undergrounding along all main Adelaide roads should be done within the next 10 or 15 years, with the City ones within 5 or 10 years.

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Re: ETSA $1.5 Billion Infrastructure upgrade

#15 Post by crawf » Mon Aug 04, 2008 4:27 pm

Agreed, Port Road especially should be a top priority

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