09/01/2020 - 13:09

Perth business wins Esperance electricity contract

09/01/2020 - 13:09

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Contract Power Group plans to build a new power station at Esperance after Horizon Power awarded the Perth company a 20-year power purchase agreement for the supply of electricity to the town.

Perth business wins Esperance electricity contract
Bill Johnston says the new hub will deliver up to 46 per cent of the town's energy annually.

Contract Power Group plans to build a new power station at Esperance after Horizon Power awarded the Perth company a 20-year power purchase agreement for the supply of electricity to the town.

The 24.5 megawatt power station will combine a 16.2MW gas turbine along with wind and solar power and battery storage.

It is expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions by half and reduce the cost of supplying electricity to the region by 39 per cent.

The new power station will include a 4 megawatt solar farm and two 4.3MW wind turbines, which Energy Minister Bill Johnston said would deliver up to 46 per cent of Esperance’s energy annually.

“The gas-fired component of the power station will be constructed using the latest technology in high efficiency generation equipment, reducing the carbon footprint by almost 50 per cent a year,” he added.

Contract Power is a subsidiary of Perth-based Pacific Energy, which was acquired last year by Queensland-based investment group QIC.

It outbid a rival offer from Sydney-based Infrastructure Capital Group, which owns the Esperance Energy Project - the operator of the 33MW gas-fired power station that currently supplies the town of Esperance. 

Contract Power will supply electricity to Esperance from 2022 when the existing supply contract with ICG is due to expire.

Contract Power plans to work closely with the Goldfields Esperance Development Commission, the Esperance Tjaltjaark Native Title Aboriginal Corporation, as well as with local contractors and businesses.

Its contractor, juwi Renewable Energy, is aiming to source 15 per cent of its workers from the Esperance region.

It is estimated more than 50 jobs will be created during construction, which is expected to begin in September this year and is due to complete in November 2021.

Horizon Power chief executive Stephanie Unwin said the new wind turbines would produce 58 per cent more wind power than the combined output of the existing six wind turbines.

"The construction of the new solar farm will comprise of more than 10,000 solar panels, making it the largest solar farm in Horizon Power's renewables portfolio," she said.

“We are very excited about the short and long-term benefits this new power station will provide the Esperance community.

“Not only are we doubling the amount of renewable energy being provided to our customers, we will also be exploring, in consultation with the community, their interest in, and the possibility of, a future shared ownership model for the solar farm.”

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