Diesel powers Pilbara as stop gap solution

Emergency diesel generators will be shipped to the Pilbara after a bungled state budget.

The stop gap solution is to fill a predicted shortfall in energy supplies in the region.

Horizon Power lobbied the West Australian Government for $400 million to build new power generation plants in the Pilbara to support the projected need for an extra 100MW, however the budget did not allocate any money, The West Australian reported.

WA opposition leader Eric Ripper slammed the Government.

“(Premier) Colin Barnett’s actions threaten to raise the cost of power in the Pilbara, costs that will be met by every customer in the South West who subsidise the cost of regional power through the tariff equalisation fund,” Ripper said.

“Diesel power is dirty, inefficient and costly and should be used only when there are no suitable alternatives. The Premier is more interested in vanity projects than he is in meeting the core infrastructure responsibilities of WA.”

According to The West, there is no chance of a new plant being constructed before the power grid is at peak capacity.

Peak demand for the power system in the region will from 106.25MW this year to 158MW by 2015.
Horizon had already warned that an additional 100MW will be needed by 2013.

Energy minister Peter Collier assured the State that and "effective, efficient and environmentally appropriate" power source could be found.

Image: Substation at Rio Tinto’s Hope Downs mine in the Pilbara.

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