Progress on goethermal power projects in South Australia has been disappointingly slow, however Petratherm continue to plug away trying to generate interest in a renewable energy precinct supplying power to Olympic Dam and adjoining mine sites. Recharge News reports - Geothermal group spells out green vision for South Australia.
Petratherm claims new tests reveal that wind and solar could play a big part in its vision of a 600MW Clean Energy Precinct in the north of the Australian state.
Assessments from consultancy Garrad Hassan Pacific reveal wind speeds of up to 8 metres per second at a height of 100 metres – offering the potential to host a 300MW wind farm – and a solar resource of 20 mega-joules per sq metre daily.
Adelaide-based Petratherm expects to complete the first 300MW stage of the project based on wind and gas generation. The second stage would see the deployment of large-scale geothermal energy from Petratherm’s ongoing South Australian Paralana project, supplemented by solar. The total cost of the project – located 300km northeast of Port Augusta – is estimated to be A$1.5bn ($1.57bn).
Petratherm says it is in discussions with key investors locally and overseas over potential technology and joint-venture partnerships. “It’s still early days for the precinct, but we remain firmly on track to combine new power generation facilities across gas, wind, solar and geothermal to eventually produce 600MW of reliable, competitively-priced electricity to meet anticipated demand from large mining developments in SA,” says Petratherm managing director Terry Kallis.
Petratherm sees robust demand growth from very large mines 270km east of the proposed site of the Clean Energy Precinct, including BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam – eventually tipped to be the biggest in the world – and OZ Mineral’s Prominent Hill and Carapateena mines. Between them they are estimated to have a total potential demand in excess of 700MW.