Monday, February 3, 2014


Hot Water Sparks Birdsville Debate (The Australian)

The Birdsville geothermal plant
(Courtesy Ergon Energy)
Birdsville mechanic Peter Barnes reckons the outback town could be Australia's greenest if the clean power generated by scalding, surging water deep beneath its soil was used to run the entire place.

The town, about 1,600km west of Brisbane, on the edge of the Simpson Desert, is already home to the nation's only geothermal power station, built in the early 1990s, generating 80kW which meets one-quarter of its 100 residents' electricity needs. Expensive and less energy-efficient diesel and gas-fired generators pick up the slack.

Mr Barnes, the operator of the town's power station for a decade until 1996, voices the ire of many residents when he questions why the Ergon-owned geothermal plant hasn't been upgraded to cater for all of the town's electricity demands.

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