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Powering up in the SWIS A NEW power station in the suburb of Naval Base opened last week, ensuring a capacity boost of 10 per cent to Western Australia’s power supplies. The NewGen Kwinana Power Station is a gas-fired plant that will generate 320 megawatts of power using low-emission technology. Power station owner NewGen is a joint venture between ERM Power and Babcock and Brown Power. ERM, a private Queensland energy company, has invested $800 million into the WA energy market through the Kwinana power station and the construction, currently under way, of a 330MW open cycle gas turbine peaking power station in Neerabup, north of Perth. The output from NewGen Kwinana power station is contracted to WA’s major electricity retailer, Synergy, from December 1. NewGen Power Kwinana chairman Trevor St Baker said the power station was among the most efficient in the country, and was helping Western Australians reduce their carbon footprint. The station was officially opened by Energy Minister Peter Collier, who said that the combined cycle plant, with electricity produced from gas and steam, would deliver power with less than half the greenhouse gas emissions of coal. “This power station is a timely addition to the South West power grid and will also help meet the government’s objective of improving power reliability across the state,” he said. “It will provide Synergy with a considerable boost to its peak demand capacity for the upcoming summer, when demand increases significantly, as well as meet current day-to-day energy requirements within the South West grid.” Meanwhile, Synergy has announced it is seeking new energy supplies to supply WA’s power needs from 2011-12. Managing director Jim Mitchell said Synergy intended inviting both renewable offers, with environmental rights, and non-renewable offers. The supplies would meet Synergy’s displacement requirements under the Vesting Contract it has with Verve Energy, as well as supplies outside the Vesting Contract. Mr Mitchell said Synergy’s focus would be on its renewable energy needs and its tendered displacement obligations. Russell Quinn

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