19/10/2009 - 09:38

Govt commits $3m for Ravensthorpe power

19/10/2009 - 09:38

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The state government has committed $3 million towards improving power reliability for Ravensthorpe with a hybrid system comprising of renewable energy and diesel to be implemented.

The state government has committed $3 million towards improving power reliability for Ravensthorpe with a hybrid system comprising of renewable energy and diesel to be implemented.

The power upgrade follows an announcement last week of a Ravensthorpe-Hopetoun Future Fund, which BHP Billiton committed $5 million, a figure matched by the government.

Nine months ago, BHP stopped production at its multi-billion dollar Ravensthorpe nickel mine, resulting in the loss of nearly 2,000 jobs.

 

The announcement is below:

 

Energy Minister Peter Collier and Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls have announced $3million funding to improve power reliability for Ravensthorpe.

This followed ongoing discussions between Western Power and the local community, including the South Eastern Shires Regional Power Group, to upgrade the region's power supply and to meet the region's potential load growth.

Mr Collier said funding would be used to implement a two-stage plan developed by Western Power and Horizon Power to help resolve the region's immediate power supply issues.

The first involved establishing a temporary diesel power station to supply the town. This is expected to be commissioned by the end of 2009.

Stage two is expected to be the development of a hybrid system involving a combination of renewable energy and diesel.

"This temporary arrangement will remain in place for up to two years while a more sustainable solution to Ravensthorpe's power supplies is developed," Mr Collier said.

"Securing the region's power for the future is a priority for the Liberal-National Government."

Western Power has continued to invest in improving local power supplies in the past two years, installing two diesel generators to help resolve capacity and quality issues until a permanent solution was developed.

Mr Grylls said reliability of electricity supply in Ravensthorpe was raised as a major priority for the local community during a consultation process he had undertaken earlier this year.

"It was one of many concerns which the State Government committed to undertake to ensure the viability of the Ravensthorpe and Hopetoun communities," he said

"The Government's investment will help improve the power supply in Ravensthorpe while a more sustainable and longer term plan is developed."

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