Power Down Under
By Jack Burke13 November 2017
APR Energy has commissioned two new power plants in South Australia designed to defend against summer power outages.
In August, SA Power Networks contracted APR Energy to install and operate power plants in the suburbs of Adelaide that would add as much as 276 MW of generating capacity by Dec. 1, in advance of peak seasonal demand.
APR Energy’s plants incorporate the latest generation of GE TM2500 mobile gas turbines, capable of delivering more than 30 MW of electricity per unit. The TM2500 is packaged on a two-trailer system with steerable axles designed to minimize individual trailer weight and improve maneuverability, making the TM2500 easily transportable by ship, air, or road. The package has a footprint of 27.7 x 8.2 m.
Pre-commissioning activities included testing by SA Power Networks and the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), and extensive rehearsals to ensure the plants could meet the customer’s requirement to inject electricity to the grid at the first sign of power fluctuations, the company said.
“Installing power solutions in a very short period of time is a task APR Energy has achieved all across the world for many years. Thanks to our team’s hard work, we delivered two power plants to South Australia ahead of the target date,” said John Campion, chairman, APR Energy. “These plants provide South Australia with emissions-friendly generating capacity that will help stabilize the grid, reducing the risk of blackouts, and load shedding during the hottest days of summer.”
South Australia Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said, “This project was delivered ahead of deadline, with APR Energy working tirelessly to have the turbines operational before summer. South Australians now have a power plant on standby ready to dispatch to the grid to help avoid power supply shortfalls.”
A key part of the South Australian Government’s Energy Plan, the turbines’ fast-start capability and built-in Power System Stabilizer technology will play a vital role in helping to maintain grid stability by rapidly injecting large blocks of power while regulating the grid voltage and frequency levels. The turbines also offer key environmental advantages for South Australia, including up to 94% lower NOx emissions, significantly less particulate matter, and 20% less noise than the emissions-intensive diesel reciprocating engines typically found in the temporary power market, the company said.
This is APR Energy’s third mobile gas turbines project in Australia, the others being for Horizon Power (100 MW) and Hydro Tasmania (75 MW).
The commissioning of the South Australia plants comes just days after APR Energy installed two TM2500 turbines for hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico. The company also is nearing completion of a 70MW turbine project in Mexico for Pemex after a major earthquake damaged much of the generating capacity at its largest refinery.