Wednesday, 25 November 2009

`Zero emission' hydro plant opens

Saturday 21/11/2009 Page: 9

VICTORIA S transition to greener energy supplies has been bolstered by the opening of a "zero emission" hydro power plant in the state's north-eastern high country. The AGL station at Bogong will have 140 MWs capacity, enough to power about 120,000 hones or a city the size of Geelong. The $240 million facility, the biggest hydroelectricity project on mainland Australia in the past 25 years, will use recycled water from AGL's nearby McKay Creek power station.

The State Government regards the project as an important advance in its plans to reduce Victories greenhouse gas emissions while protecting jobs in the energy industry and maintaining a secure supply of power to households and business. While the Government believes Victoria will continue to rely on the Latrobe Valley's coalfired power stations for the bulk of its electricity for generations to come, it is pushing to gradually change the state's "energy mix" by backing a range of renewable energy sources such as hydro, solar, wind and geothermal.

Premier John Brumby, who opened the Bogong hydro plant yesterday, said it marked a new era for renewable energy in Victoria. "This is a great example of how climate change can provide a climate of opportunity, with new investment, more jobs and a cleaner environment," he said. "It is a unique project because it delivers clean energy without the need for new dams or new water by reusing water already used by the McKay Creek power station."