A $350 million gas turbine power station is planned to be built in Tihiroane. It will produce enough power to ensure that 300,000 homes have electricity. The ODC (Otorohanga District Council) is currently working through the process in order to get the necessary consents.
Unfortunately, there are some people who are unhappy about the said proposal. The green party and some of the neighbors are asking that the project is halted.
This gas turbine power station will be powered using natural gas and will use the technology known as open-cycle. All the power generated will then be put into the national grid. Gas turbine such as this one is considered enablers for renewable energy and provide support by providing power when the natural grid is affected by low water storage and low wind.
One of the major benefits of such turbines is their ability to respond to the various changes in power demand by having the ability to start quickly or stop quickly as needed. Another benefit is the fact that the power plant will be using dry low emissions technology. This technology significantly decreases the amount of water needed in the process when compared to the amount needed for wet emissions control technology. As such, the Waipa River will be spared since there is no need for the water.
Nova Energy will be constructing the gas turbine power station. They chose this site for three main reasons:
- It is very close to the Maui pipeline
- It is a major center in the region
- The transmission network
Should the consents go through, Nova Energy will put up the station on farmland that they own. Until now it has been used for dairy, but once the station is put up it will be converted to drystock and farming will continue.
A council meeting held in July noted that transmission towers will need to be erected that will impact between twenty and thirty properties. There will also be job opportunities once it opens up. Once permission is granted the power station will be built in 3 stages each able to produce between 100 and 120 MW, which is enough to power one hundred thousand homes.
The main goal of the power plant is to channel power to the national grid when demand for electricity is high and other power generation forms are unable to keep up with the demand. As at right now, the project is still in the beginning stages of the process.
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