The state government of Victoria Australia announced today that it plans to build a new gas-fired electricity plant in the Latrobe Valley at the cost of A$150 million ($77.72 million). The plant will be built by Edison Mission Energy and will have a generation capacity of 300 MW.
When the new plant comes into operation next February, it is expected to help deal with the peak summer demand. In announcing the project, State Premier Steve Bracks said that it was the most significant investment in Victoria’s power industry since the upgrade of Loy Yang B in the mid 1990s. “This announcement of a significant boost in peak supply to cope with Victoria’s demanding summers makes it clear that our efforts to encourage new energy investment are working,” Bracks said.
Edison Mission Energy is a division of Edison International, an international electric power generator, distributor, and structured finance provider. Edisonà¯¿½s family of companies develops, acquires, finances, owns, operates and maintains power systems around the world. It is headquartered in Rosemead, California and operates in nine countries and four regions of the United States. The Loy Yang B coal-fired facility it operates in Traralgon, Victoria has a capacity of 1,000 MW.
Energy Minister Candy Broad said the development in Latrobe Valley was timely
as Victoria’s generation capacity reserves were likely to be below minimum levels next summer. “The Edison Mission Energy peaker project underlines the potential of the Valley as the continued powerhouse of the State,” Ms Broad said.
Australia’s prolonged period of economic growth has driven up demand for electricity and supply shortages are now a problem. Widespread electricity rationing was introduced in the state of Victoria last year, and supplies were cut to thousands of households and businesses in the middle of a heat wave. Deregulation of the industry has put further pressure on the supply side and allowed private power companies to sell supplies to neighbouring states but it is clear that investment in new generation facilities is required, if the supply problem is to be resolved.
The Edison Mission Energy project comprises gas turbines providing a total of 300 MW generation capacity available for peak mid-summer and mid-winter demand periods. The plant will be located on part of the vacant state-owned station site adjacent to Edison Mission Energy’s Loy Yang B station. The government has agreed to sell the company the site at a price to be determined by the valuer-general