The Western Australian Mid-West power station project is complete with the commissioning of the Mount Magnet power station, the last of seven new and upgraded power stations supplying towns in the mid-western region.
The Mid-West project included an upgrade to the existing Norseman power station, operated by Contract Power Australia, and the construction of five other new stations in Cue, Meekatharra, Yalgoo, Wiluna and Sandstone.
WA Energy Minister Dr Mike Nahan said the new Mount Magnet power station was built by WA company Contract Power Australia for the supply of electricity to regional provider Horizon Power, under a power purchase agreement.
Dr Nahan said the new state-of-the-art station, which was capable of future expansion, was powered by high efficiency, gas-fired Caterpillar engines that would provide the town with up to 1.1MW of power.
The Mid-West power project also enables renewable energy sources, including solar, to be incorporated in the future.
Dr Nahan said the project, which was a result of Horizon Power’s 2013 strategic review commitment to reduce the Government’s subsidy for regional electricity by $100 million a year by 2016-17, was saving taxpayers millions of dollars over the 10-year life of the contract.
“The Mid-West power station project ensures a safe and reliable power supply for households and businesses in the region, as well as providing savings for the state government through a more flexible supply arrangement and enabling the use of renewable energy into the future,” Dr Nahan said.
“It is wonderful to see new power stations being delivered in regional WA and Horizon Power has already achieved 90 per cent of the $100 million per year savings targets.
“I commend Horizon Power for its commitment to efficient and streamlined project delivery, with seven new power stations being delivered in the Mid-West over the course of the project, including six of them in just eight months.”
Mount Magnet is one of WA’s first gold mining towns and has a population of about 500 people.
The seven power stations can generate more than 5,600kW of electricity for customers in the Mid-West.