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Petratherm plans $1.5 bn project north of Paralana involving gas, wind, solar and later geothermal

Drilling rig at Paralana project of Petratherm, Australia (source: Petratherm)
Alexander Richter 7 Dec 2011

Australian Petratherm announces the planning start of a $1.5 billion project north of its Paralana geothermal project in South Australia that will involve gas, wind and solar power generation, with a later addition of geothermal.

Reported from Australia, “Petratherm (ASX: PTR) has begun planning a AU$1.5 billion major clean energy precinct just north of its Paralana geothermal energy joint venture project that will deliver 600 megawatts of power to the large growth electricity market driven by mining developments in the northwest of South Australia.

The precinct will comprise a mix of gas, wind and solar power generation, and later geothermal power connection.

One option for connection to the “on-grid” market is via Olympic Dam, and Petratherm intends to initiate commercial discussions with BHP Billiton (ASX: BHP) to explore this.

The precinct will be located on Moolawatana Station, just 50 kilometres north of the Paralana project site, with exclusive rights for power generation over 1800 square kilometres of land.

The location has been selected because it is the nearest point to the on grid market where there is a convergence of all four future resources – gas, wind, solar and geothermal.

Moolawatana has abundant solar and wind resources and is traversed by the Moomba to Adelaide gas pipeline.

The precinct will provide Petratherm with a way to get the geothermal resource from its Paralana project to market in the quickest time frame.

The Paralana geothermal resource is estimated to be able to supply around 1300 megawatts of power production capability for 30 years.

The clean energy precinct will be developed in a staged process with the first 300 megawatts of power generation coming from a combination of gas and wind due to their high availability, competitive price and significant carbon benefit.

The second 300 megawatt stage of the precinct will include the introduction of large scale geothermal and solar, as both of these technologies come down their respective cost curves.

Petratherm also has in the pipeline a Heliotherm research and development project which may have the future potential to fully integrate the solar, gas and geothermal energy resources to reduce the capital cost of solar thermal by as much as 40% and provide baseload operation.”

Source: Proactive Investors