West Pilbara power project - 06 Oct 2009

Horizon Power is sponsoring the development of the most efficient gas-fired power station in the Pilbara's North West Interconnected System (NWIS).

Horizon has contracted ATCO Power to build a new state-of-the-art 86MW open cycle gas turbine power station adjacent to its 132kV Karratha Terminal. The first power is scheduled to be produced by February 2010 with the station operating at full capacity by 1 April 2010.

The project will employ two 43MW high-efficiency gas turbines and has been designed to allow expansion via additional turbines and steam cogeneration units. The power station could be expanded to 150MW generation capacity to meet the future energy demands on the North West Interconnected system.

In the future, the power station could be augmented with a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) that can generate electricity from waste heat from the gas turbines. The HRSG enables the plant to generate more than a third more electricity for the same amount of fuel. 

Horizon Power currently purchases 70MW of power from Rio Tinto under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), which it then supplies to its customers. That agreement expires on 1 March 2010 and the power produced at the new power station will be purchased by Horizon Power under a 100% PPA and supplied via the NWIS to retail customers. 

The power station will use significantly less gas than is currently used to generate the same amount of electricity, meaning less green house gas emissions per kW/hr sold. The GE LM6000PD gas turbines use gas approximately 55% more efficiently than the generators their existing suppliers are currently using. 

To produce the same amount of electricity they will use 35% less gas. Which means 35% less CO2 released into the atmosphere. 

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