SA Power Networks is using alternative solutions to ensure cost-efficient electricity supply for South Australian customers including a major development in Bordertown.

The company intends to conduct a series of tests in the lead up to commissioning a new diesel generation plant to boost electricity supply capacity for about 3,000 customers.    SA Power Networks has entered a partnership with Vibe Energy to provide a non-network solution to meet peak demand growth in the Bordertown area where customer load has been growing at a rate of about 2% per annum.

Vibe will construct, manage and maintain a 4MW diesel-fuelled peaking plant right next door to the Bordertown substation. The alternative network solution was for SA Power Networks to build a bigger substation and upgrade the 33,000 Volt line from Keith and the shared Keith 132/33kV Connection Point.

Vibe’s diesel generators are being connected directly into the 11,000 Volt network feeding the area and will operate on a few days a year to meet peak demand. The generators also will be available to support supply when it has been lost from the main Keith to Bordertown power line.

SA Power Networks is investing about $5 million to upgrade the Bordertown substation and connect the new power station into the grid. The works at the Bordertown substation include installation of a third 11kV overhead ‘bus’ section, one 11kV feeder exit bay, a new control building housing telecommunications, protection and control equipment.

“The decision to partner with Vibe Energy defers the need for a more expensive network solution and benefits all consumers,” said Paul Roberts, Stakeholder Relations Manager. “It’s another example of how we look for cost efficient options to manage and upgrade the network.

“We conducted a Request for Proposal process under the Regulatory Test guidelines established by the Essential Services Commission of SA (ESCoSA). The overall cost to consumers is estimated to be about a third to a quarter of the cost of the network solution, according to the calculations established by the regulator.”

Michelle is a freelance journalist and editor who, as well as covering all the latest and breaking industry news, is a gun proofreader and editor who never misses a trick.

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