Modular Peaking Plant Helps Keep Power Prices Down, Down Under

California has nothing on southern Australia when it comes to electricity price volatility. During the south Australian summer, prices can jump from $30 per MWh to $10,000 per MWh in just five minutes. A new 20-MW, diesel-powered peaking plant is helping to minimize demand-driven spikes, and was constructed in just 90 days.

03/01/2003


California has nothing on southern Australia when it comes to electricity price volatility. During the south Australian summer, prices can jump from $30 per MWh to $10,000 per MWh in just five minutes. A new 20-MW, diesel-powered peaking plant is helping to minimize demand-driven spikes, and was constructed in just 90 days.

The rapid construction was enabled by the facility's modular design. The station, located in a suburb of Adelaide, integrates 18 containerized generator sets, each rated at 1.125 MW. Selective catalytic reduction (SCR) helps ensure nitrogen oxide emissions are maintained below the permitted limit of 10 grams per second per MW. Moreover, carbon monoxide production is lower than regulatory limits, thanks to lower-emissions engines. In addition, the generator sets incorporate a "smart" fuel-injection system, which reduces the visible smoke at start up.

The facility is Australia's first temporary power station and is leased to an independent electricity provider that sells power to the country's wholesale market. The units each incorporate a digital control system, allowing for paralleled operation and instant synchronization with the larger grid. The plant can ramp up to full power within one minute, and will remain unmanned during normal operation.

From Pure Power, Spring 2003





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