Conway Blacker, keeping the lights on

Conway Blacker loves nothing more than a smooth-running turbine.

“To me, good energy is energy you can rely on,” said Conway, whose role as Plant Technician at Quarantine Power Station is diverse, ranging from general plant operations to coordinating major plant shutdowns for important maintenance activities. “I do pretty much everything to keep the plant highly reliable,” he said.

His job includes repairing and maintaining the five gas-driven turbines at the heart of the Quarantine Power Station. The four smaller turbines are 25 MW units, each the length of a B-double truck. “Our large 125 MW unit is about 20 to 30 metres high, with a footprint of at least 600 plus square metres. It’s pretty big.”

Because the power station is a peaking plant, only running during periods of high demand to help maintain a reliable supply of energy to the market, it’s essential that it’s ready to produce power as soon as it’s required.

“Most of the planning and maintenance work gets done when the plant isn’t operating,” said Conway. “We are always planning work well in advance and are constantly looking at how we can improve or expand our plant. I’m really proud of the part we have played at Quarantine to help Origin’s total power generation fleet achieve really high reliability – especially through the critical summer months when our stations are needed most,” he said.

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