Australia’s largest combined cycle gas turbine power station turns 10
AFTER it was officially opened by the then Queensland Premier Anna Bligh in 2010, Origin Energy’s Darling Downs Power Station is celebrating turning 10, creating local jobs, and supporting Queensland renewable energy system.
As Queensland’s largest gas fired power station and Australia’s largest combined cycle gas turbine power station, the facility plays a crucial role in supporting an increasingly renewable energy system and providing much-needed reliable and affordable supply to customers in our region and in the state.
Darling Downs Power Station manager Anthony Ham, is a part of a team of 30 locals who maintains and operates the power station.
“Most of our team live local with their families in the Western Downs region and nearly a third of the workforce were with us as part of the 780 people employed during the construction,” he said.
“As locals we understand how important it is that we continue prioritising local businesses for the supply of equipment and services we require and involving ourselves in local initiatives like the recent Chinchilla Careers Expo at the high school.”
Mr Ham said the station’s role has changed dramatically in recent years.
“Darling Downs Power Station was originally designed to operate as a baseload generator, meaning the power station was running for long periods and had a low number of starts each year,” he said.
“The increased deployment of renewable generation like solar and wind around the state means we have had to change the way we operate to provide energy when there’s no sun or wind.
“This means we’ve seen a huge increase in the number of units shut downs and start-ups over the last couple of years.
“Origin has invested significantly to ensure Darling Downs can operate in a more flexible mode, which positions the plant to play an increasingly important role into the future.”
Located in Kogan 40km from Dalby, the station has a maximum generating capacity of 630MW, which is enough to power over 400,000 homes.