Off grid, outback, and powering on
Lonely travellers who take a left turn off the remote Leichhardt Highway in central Queensland might find themselves in for an amazing engineering spectacle.
Nine bright green Jenbacher J620 gas engines will soon be snaking their way down the dusty roads to their new home at the Eurombah Creek Coal Seam Gas Processing Facility.
Front view of J620 Jenbacher gas engine
Part of a recently signed agreement between Clark Energy and Australia Pacific LNG the engines will generate 27 MW of electricity to power the remote coal seam gas extraction plant.
Bigger than a car, but smaller than a bus, each of the units weighs as much as 6 elephants, and its internal chambers spin 25 times a second, creating a steady supply of energy in places the electricity grid just can’t reach.
A further 10 units will make their way to Queensland’s Reedy Creek coal seam gas processing facility to expand an existing 30 MW power facility which was installed 12 months ago.
The Jenbacher J620 engines make it possible for the coal seam gas plant facilities to use gas harvested on-site to power the facilities as they’re being built and operated.
Clarke Energy, the distributor and service provider for the GE Jenbacher gas engine in Australia, has developed smaller, more efficient power stations through an innovative, modular design.
Already in use in 12 sites across Australia, modular power stations incorporate many safety and operational features, and have proved highly reliable in remote outback locations.
Such modular systems facilitate a distributed model of power production that is far more efficient than traditional grid networks, which can consume up to 80 percent of the power simply in the distribution.
The Jenbacher J620 hard at work. Infographic courtesy of Clarke Energy.
According to Tony Narvaez, regional general manager of GE Distributed Power, technologies such as the Jenbacher systems make it possible to bring efficient power production to where it’s needed.
“As the country continues to develop its coal seam gas and offshore natural gas reserves to become an important alternative LNG supplier for Asia and other regions of the world, and on-site power plant projects showcase that this is an important growth segment for Distributed Power,” says Narvaez.
“Clarke Energy is playing a central role in driving GE’s strategic growth in this region by rapidly developing new business opportunities, while offering excellent lifecycle services for our customers.”
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