13/01/2021 - 15:30

South Hedland gas, battery deferred

13/01/2021 - 15:30

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A $200 million battery and gas power expansion in South Hedland has had development approval deferred three months to ensure the project is EPA compliant.

An electricity substation in East Perth. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

A $200 million battery and gas power expansion in South Hedland has had development approval deferred three months to ensure the project is EPA compliant.

Alinta Energy is hoping to add 60 megawatts of gas capacity at the Boodarie power plant, and a 40MW battery energy storage system.

The Regional Development Assessment Panel reviewed the project yesterday, which was recommended for approval by the Town of Port Hedland.

But the Boodarie expansion had not received assent from the Environmental Protection Authority, which Business News understands would be a necessary precondition of development approval.

The DAP deferred consideration for three months.

Documents lodged in the DAP submission suggest Alinta believed it may not be ready for environmental referral until the second half of 2021.

It is unclear why Alinta sought development approval before receiving EPA approval, and Alinta did not respond to a request for comment prior to publication.

“With the continued introduction of intermittent energy sources into the NWIS, such as rooftop solar panels, Alinta Energy have identified a need for a fast response system that balances electricity generation capacity,” Alinta said in the proposal. 

“The proposed reciprocating engines will satisfy this need.

“The application seeks approval for an expansion of the power station with the addition of gas fuelled reciprocating engine generators and a utility scale battery. 

Alinta Energy has advised that the expansion of the power station with the addition of energy efficient generators will allow the provider to offer more competitively priced electricity to customers within the area.”

The power station was commissioned in 1995, and generates about 150 megawatts of power for BHP, Fortescue and Port Hedland retail customers.

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