Powering power stations with solar

Origin’s proud to embrace the seven We Mean Business initiatives, including progressive decarbonisation and identification of opportunities to run more of our assets on renewable energy.

With a network of nine power stations and nearly 60 LPG terminals around the country, Origin’s Energy Supply and Operations business has no shortage of potential roof space for solar panels.   

To support the progressive decarbonisation of the Origin business and to continue to help us lead the growth of renewables, in March 2020 we set off on an ambitious expansion of our program to identify opportunities to run more of our sites on renewable energy. 

Initially commencing across selected LPG sites during the 2017 financial year, the latest expansion of the program examined opportunities across Origin’s generation and broader LPG portfolio of sites and identified potential for a three-fold capacity increase.   

Origin’s Head of Technical and Maintenance in Origin’s generation team, Joel Otley has been tasked with leading the investigation and roll-out.   

“You’d be surprised how much energy we use operating plant and equipment and powering site offices, particularly at our larger power stations. Looking for opportunities to deploy solar across our generation portfolio and LPG terminals just made sense, and supports our decarbonisation targets and We Mean Business commitments” says Joel. 

“Our initial investigations began by examining things like roof integrity, size and aspect and annual sunshine and energy consumption patterns for each site”.  

“We’re already seeing the difference these solar systems can make particularly in helping to reduce our Scope 2 emissions. Our LPG Terminal in Minto, New South Wales had a 79kW solar system installed in mid-September 2020, which has decreased the terminal’s electricity use from the grid by 35 per cent, significantly reduced our operating costs and saved over 12 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions”, he said. 

Since the commencement of the program, Origin has installed solar panels across 18 sites, including the Mt Stuart power station in Townsville, Queensland, the Shoalhaven pumped hydro plant in New South Wales, the Darling Downs power station near Dalby in Queensland and the Minto and Eden LPG terminals in New South Wales.   

With a combined solar generation capacity of over 650kW, Origin will continue to identify and evaluate every opportunity available to decarbonise our business. 

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