SA Mines and Energy Journal : Dec09-Jan10
8 DECEMBER 2009/JANUARY 2010 SA MINES & ENERGY JOURNAL INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENTS Renewable energy jackpot Geodynamics and Petratherm have won a combined $152 million in renewable energy grants for two South Australian geothermal projects. Petratherm was awarded $62.76 million under the Federal Government's Renewable Energy Demonstration Program for use at its Paralana geothermal energy project in the northern Flinders Ranges. "Petratherm's Paralana project's longer-term aim is to develop Australia's first large-scale (260+ megawatt) base-load geothermal power station to deliver zero- emission electricity to the national electricity market, " the company said. Geodynamics was awarded $90 million, which will be staged over the life of its geothermal energy project in the Cooper Basin, with the final payment to be received following the commissioning of a 25-megawatt geothermal power plant, expected to occur in late 2013. Geodynamics' commercial manager Alistair Webb said the company was now ready to proceed with the first stage of the project, which will be the world's first commercial-size demonstration of a multi-well, hot-fractured rock power plant. He said the project would require about $300 million by its completion in 2013 but the Government funding would make finding money in the market much easier. Energy Minister Martin Ferguson announced the grants in November and warned that if geothermal was not commercially demonstrated by 2015-20, then Australia would have a big challenge in moving to a low- carbon energy market. ''These projects will diversify Australia's energy supply and help deliver the Government's expanded renewable energy target of 20 per cent by 2020,'' Mr Ferguson said.