Origin is improving the flexibility of our gas fleet to support the rapid uptake of renewables in South Australia and ensure our customers have access to reliable and affordable energy.
Following the closure of South Australia’s last coal-fired power plant in 2016, renewable energy has grown from 24 per cent of the state’s energy capacity to 51 per cent today. The remainder of SA’s generation capacity comes from gas and a small amount, 2 per cent, from battery storage.
The rapid growth in intermittent renewables has increased the volatility of energy supply in the SA market, highlighting the need for support from flexible power generation.
Our Quarantine Power Station is a 230 MW power station on Torrens Island, with five turbines and contributes about 7 per cent of SA’s gas fired generation capacity. As a gas fired peaking station, Quarantine plays an important role in supplying energy when renewables are not available.
To improve the flexibility of Quarantine, we installed new aeroderivative technology in one of the generating units to improve flexibility, efficiency, and in particular reduce the start-up time to reach full output capacity from 20 minutes to 5 minutes. This means Quarantine can step in at short notice to ensure our customers have access to reliable energy supplies.
Bill Truscott, Origin’s Head of Lifecycle & Development Strategy, a member of the project team which delivered the new turbine at Quarantine said, “It’s great to be part of an approach that helps improve reliability and supports the decarbonisation of the energy market. The new turbine has improved the efficiency and capacity of Quarantine, meaning we can supply more energy to South Australians and support the introduction of renewable energy.”
“We will continue to ensure that Quarantine responds to a changing market, and we plan to replace the remaining three units at the station with the aeroderivative technology over coming years.
“This means Origin is well-placed to supply our customers with reliable and affordable energy, even if the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing.”