Economic and environmental wins from turbines

One of two hydro-electric turbines to be installed at Lostock Dam3 August 2010

The Singleton economy has benefited from a $400,000 project to install two 110kw capacity hydro-electric turbines at Lostock Dam.

Heidemann Hydro Australia and State Water Corporation engaged local suppliers during the project which will enable the generation of electricity during water releases from the dam.

State Water CEO George Warne said he welcomed the opportunity to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with the installation of the new hydro facility.

“This project builds on State Water’s existing water delivery infrastructure to generate electricity without harming the environment,” Mr Warne said.

“The installation of turbines will mean whenever water is discharged from the dam the operators will have the option of diverting it through the new hydro-power units.

“A 25 tonne crane supplied by Boom Logistics in Singleton was required to unload the shipping container on arrival at site,” Mr Warne said.

“Local company Power Serve was also engaged to construct the transmission line and electrical installation work.”

Water released from the dam will not be affected by the diversion, Mr Warne said.

“There is no difference to the water released, instead of going straight into the Paterson River it is diverted through the power units and then flows into the river.”

The turbines will put 1,200 megawatt hours of power into the electricity grid, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 1,1400 tonnes each year.

Of the 20 major dams owned and operated by State Water, more than half now have hydro electric power stations installed and in 2008-09 generated 49 gigawatt hours of electricity, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 47,600 tonnes.

A specially designed acoustic cover is used to house each hydro unit so that the serenity of the area can be maintained.  

“It’s a win for the environment and a win for the local community,” Mr Warne said.

Heidemann Hydro Australia was awarded a license to construct and operate a hydro facility at Lostock Dam in 2006.

Manufacture of the hydro turbines was carried out in Germany in accordance with designs developed by the Heidemann company.

Delays were experienced during manufacture when severe snow storms and ice prevented transportation of equipment from suppliers.

Installation work is expected to take at approximately two months to complete.

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