South Australia now has access to an additional 276MW of electricity generation, with the state’s new power plant installed in time for the warmer summer months.
The new GE TM2500 aero derivative turbines have been connected to the grid at two locations – the former General Motors Holden site at Elizabeth and the Adelaide Desalination Plant at Lonsdale.
The turbines have passed necessary testing requirements and are ready to despatch electricity to the grid to help avoid supply shortfalls.
The power plant, supplied by APR Energy, will operate 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 plant is cleaner than the former Northern Power Station, and once operating on gas, will be cleaner and more efficient than Torrens Island Power Station.
“This summer, the South Australian energy landscape will look very different to last summer,” Premier Jay Weatherill said.
“We now have our own power plant, delivering up to 276MW of additional generation when we need it.
“We’ll have access to the world’s largest lithium-ion battery, providing up to 100 MW of dispatchable electricity.
“And the energy minister now has the power to direct available generators to turn on at short notice in emergency situations, to avoid the absurd situation where generators sit idle while households lose power.”
The power plant is part of the state’s $550 million energy plan, established after 90,000 South Australians were left without power in February this year due to a load-shedding incident.
Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said the load-shedding event was “unnecessary” and should never have happened.
“With the new power plant, battery and Ministerial powers, we’re in a much better position this summer to avoid unnecessary blackouts,” he said.