Australia’s AGL Energy is to start construction later this year on a 210 MW gas-fired power plant near Adelaide, it has announced.
The Barker Inlet power station will be based on reciprocating engine technology and will be located adjacent to the firm’s existing Torrens Island power plant. Construction will start in the third quarter of 2017, and the plant will be operational in early 2019, AGL said.
AGL Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Andy Vesey, said: “Our decision to move ahead with this development reflects our long-standing commitment to our South Australian customers and our contribution to creating a secure energy system as the market transitions.”
The Barker Inlet plant will replace two of the four Torrens A turbines, which AGL will progressively mothball from 1 July 2019. The four Torrens B turbines will continue to operate as normal.
“Torrens A is now 50 years old,” said Vesey. “Our decision in June 2016 to defer its previously planned mothballing reflected the importance of maintaining security of supply in South Australia following the withdrawal at short notice of other thermal power stations.”
AGL’s announcement comes during a major review of Australia’s national electricity market and after an announcement by the government of South Australia that it would build new gas-fired capacity as well as battery energy storage capacity in the state.
“Barker Inlet power station will comprise 12 reciprocating engines capable of generating approximately 18 MW of output each and operating at high efficiency with a lower heat rate than other forms of fast-start plant currently available,” said AGL Executive General Manager, Group Operations, Doug Jackson. “These units are capable of operating at full capacity within five minutes of start, providing a rapid response to changes in renewable generation supply.”