Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Australia: Winton Geothermal Plant is Due to be Commissioned this Year

Census of Australian Geothermal Projects (AGA)

The Australian Geothermal Association (AGA) has conducted a Census of Australian geothermal projects to more accurately and effectively highlight the positive aspects of this renewable energy industry.

Relevant projects include direct-use applications (eg. pool heating in Perth, Barramundi farms in Victoria etc.), hot springs and spa, ground source heat pump projects at the residential and commercial scale and electricity generation (e.g. Birdsville & most recently in Winton Qld).

Here in Australia, the 80 kilowatt (kWe) Birdsville geothermal plant in Queensland faithfully supplied electricity for over 25 years. While the state-owned electricity company that managed the Birdsville plant recently made a strategic decision to decommission it, a new 310 kWe geothermal plant is due to be commissioned by the Winton local government in another part of Queensland in 2019. Both of these plants are powered by 87-100°C water from depths of 1
– 1.5 km in the Great Artesian Basin, and similar projects are currently at the planning stage (e.g. bore testing in photo above) in other parts of the basin.

A 2018 study commissioned by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency
found that ‘Hot Sedimentary Aquifer’ geothermal electricity generation (such as the Queensland projects) have the lowest Levelized Cost of Energy for dispatchable renewables available 24/7. This means that lifecycle cost of geothermal electricity generation is less than that of solar and battery storage combined.

The AGA is currently working on a position paper that examines recent global developments in geothermal power generation, and considers what areas in Australia might be best suited to this type of geothermal development. For details please get in touch with AGA at australiangeothermal@gmail.com.

More Information.......