Diamantina Power Station (DPS) in the city of Mt. Isa in the Australian state of Queensland has selected Clarke Energy to supply and install the country’s first highly efficient 2.6-megawatt (MW) 616 diesel engine from GE’s Distributed Power business (NYSE: GE).
GE’s 616 diesel unit will help give the station needed “black start” capabilities to allow the plant to return to service in the event of a system outage.
DPS operates in an isolated regional grid that is not connected to the National Electricity Market. The Mount Isa region is affected by high levels of lightning activity during summer that can interrupt power supplies. As a result, the new black start capability is critically important to this regional network.
The DPS site, which is jointly owned by APA Group and AGL Energy, includes a 242-MW natural gas combined-cycle power station and the adjacent, 60-MW Leichhardt Power Station (LPS)—an open cycle, dual-fueled gas turbine plant that provides backup power with “black start capabilities.” The need for the 616 unit is to ensure that black start is available under any circumstance as the loss of this facility would impose serious difficulties for the region in the event of a system black out. The GE 616 will be used as a black start diesel unit for the combined-cycle power plant.
“We selected Clarke Energy to supply and install the black start capability due to the high reliability of GE’s 616 diesel engine and local presence of Clarke Energy,” said DPS Manager Mark Magnowski. “This project will help secure the current and future power supply needs of North West Queensland.”
“The deployment of GE’s 616 engine will enable DPS to have a reliable, efficient and dependable black start capability,” said Greg Columbus, Clarke Energy managing director. Clarke Energy is GE’s authorized distributor of diesel and natural gas engines in Australia.
With Clarke Energy providing excellent local project development and life cycle services, GE continues to rapidly expand its diesel and natural gas engine technology offerings in Australia, providing customers needing electricity for their operations on or off the grid with reliable, efficient power generated by engines that can run on diesel or a wide variety of fuels, from natural gas and biogas to coal seam gas. The company also provides mechanical drive and gas compression products with GE’s Waukesha gas engines.
“Being able to work with Clarke Energy to offer GE’s 616 diesel engine technology, which will provide black start capabilities at the Diamantina Power Station, highlights the important role that distributed energy technologies are playing in strengthening local energy security,” said Bart Simes, regional manager for GE’s Distributed Power business. “This project helps show the global utility sector needs a full range of natural gas and diesel solutions to ensure the availability of their power plants worldwide.”
The 616 unit is scheduled to be delivered in June 2016 and enter commercial service in August 2016.
In April 2015, GE announced Clarke Energy would serve as GE’s first authorized distributor for diesel engine sales and services with responsibility for stationary power generation in Australia as well as Nigeria and India.