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Hot rocks power plant nears completion
August 30, 2009
5:08 pm
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Boost for pioneering hot rock pilot power plant in South Australia

A geothermal company says work on powerlines between the northern South Australian town of Innamincka and its pilot power plant should be complete in time for commissioning later this month.

Geodynamics says work on the hot rock power plant is nearly complete with the last two high pressure heat exchangers arriving on Thursday.

The company has also applied for $90 million from the Federal Renewable Energy Demonstration program for a project in the Cooper Basin.

Another company, Petratherm, has also applied for funding to help it build a $200 million commercial demonstration project at its Paralana project site in the Northern Flinders Ranges.

A major geothermal energy producer will receive more than $560,000 from the State Government’s Regional Development Infrastructure Fund towards transmission infrastructure for Australia’s first pilot ‘hot fractured rock’ geothermal power plant.

Regional Development Minister Paul Caica says Geodynamics Ltd’s planned pilot plant is extremely important to the development of Hot Fractured Rock activity around the State.

“It’s the first pilot plant of its kind in Australia, and the first step in Geodynamics’ plans to develop a commercially operated power station in the Cooper Basin,” he said.

The planned pilot plant requires a power line to Innamincka township and the RDIF contribution of half the cost of this line will assist the development of a 1 Mega Watt (MW) pilot plant.

“It’s proposed that a successful pilot plant may lead to a much larger 50MW demonstration plant and, in 2015, to a 500MW operation,” Mr Caica said.

Geodynamics is one of four projects chosen for assistance totalling $1.56 million in the latest round of Regional Development Infrastructure Fund (RDIF) grants.

The other projects being funded from the latest round are:

Up to $300,000 over two years to Taylors Wines Pty Ltd towards the cost of establishing electricity infrastructure to support the company’s expansion at Auburn.
Up to $318,891 to Luturn Pty Ltd for power and water infrastructure to assist Primo Smallgoods in its rebuilding project at Port Wakefield.
Up to $388,650 over two years to Almondco Australia Ltd for additional electricity capacity and telecommunications infrastructure to assist the company’s expansion plans at Renmark.

‘The Fund plays an important role towards meeting South Australia’s Strategic Plan targets in our regional areas aimed at developing regional employment, encouraging regional investment and increasing the State’s export earnings and population growth,” Minister Caica said.

“Since the inception of the program, about $24 million of RDIF assistance has supported projects generating an estimated 4,900 jobs and more than $1.1 billion in total project investment.

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