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Data centre to go to EIS

By johnboy 6 August 2008 39

You’d think a data centre would be the sort of thing any sane town would want.

Nice clean jobs, encourages better data connections, sits on the edge of town behind barbed wire minding its own business.

But this is Canberra, where nothing is ever so simple.

To that end Andrew Barr has announced that the data centre proposal is going to be asked to complete an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

This, happily, punts the issue out past the election.

What’s Your opinion?


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Data centre to go to EIS
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miz 12:56 pm 12 Aug 08

Heavy it is. For example, Vic classifies electrical generation as heavy industrial on the attached doc, which is spruiking a Heavy Industry Park in the Latrobe Valley:

http://www.latrobe.vic.gov.au/WebFiles/Business%20Services/dossier%20heavyind.pdf

More disturbingly, this doc goes on to say that power station clustering is commonplace. If we get one, we are sure to get more.

That said (and I’ve said it before) no one is protesting against a data storage warehouse, just the associated power generation aspect – though there is also the legitimate expectation that buffer zones should remain as broadacre for suburbs so close to the tip. A more more suitable place for this proposed development could be found if they tried.

peterh 12:41 pm 12 Aug 08

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy said :

I was also thinking about the $$ that flow outside the ACT when hosting charges are paid, if the data centre isn’t owned by an ACT entity. This probably outweighs the job issue, too.

Surely we can divorce the data centre from the power source? I suspect, though, that Canberra needs to have a think about local power generation anyway, and that would be a good opportunity to explore larger scale environmentally friendly options.

the datacentre will be owned, in part, by actew agl. so it is a roundabout way of saying that it is the ACT government’s….

I was also thinking about the $$ that flow outside the ACT when hosting charges are paid, if the data centre isn’t owned by an ACT entity. This probably outweighs the job issue, too.

Surely we can divorce the data centre from the power source? I suspect, though, that Canberra needs to have a think about local power generation anyway, and that would be a good opportunity to explore larger scale environmentally friendly options.

miz 11:07 am 12 Aug 08

Lagrange, 45MW is proposed, not 15MW! There are three (3) turbines proposed. See the wealth of info here

http://www.canberrapowerstation.info/index.html

VY this site also tracks the, erm, ‘flexible’ (ie made up) estimates of jobs supposedly created if the proposal goes ahead

peterh 10:58 am 12 Aug 08

the disposal of big battery packs – based on the type of batteries, there should be some way to recycle them for further use. Li Ion batteries can be recycled, but it is an expensive process.

the std batteries are more likely to be recycled, I remember apollo batteries used to strip and clean the guts of old batteries, clean the metal up and re-fill and resell them, many years ago.

most likely that this still can be done.

…still waiting…

Cletus – nice sweeping ideals, but what’s your actual solution to keeping Canberrans in jobs while energy sources you don’t like are the only viable ones? Read Lagrange’s post as a starting point. Greenies love the ideas of totally renewable energy (so do I, actually), but we have to consider the reality of how effective these technologies are in the real world, and what their total environmental impact is (including the manufacturing and disposal of big battery packs).

Lagrange 9:17 am 07 Aug 08

Far out miz 18 MW of gas turbines is hardly heavy industry.

Is heavy industry actually not permitted in Canberra? I couldn’t find anything about this, but suspect it has more to do with lack of demand then anything else. In the past why would you have located heavy industry in Canberra? There was no demand for it or particularly useful resources nearby…

If you want to use solar and wind you also have to include a large amount of batteries, the power source is there to act as a UPS independant of the grid in times of faults. The combined cost of solar panels and batteries would be huge, probably more then enough to kill the project. A nice solar thermal plant with effective thermal storage is a possibility though you would need additional storage again and I bet residents would protest about living near one of those anyway.

Also Cletus here’s a newsflash for you: gas is absolutely essential for our power system especially if you want to start using renewables! Its fast response time is necessary to balance the more stochastic sources of energy (at the moment wind). We are hopefully moving to an electricity system that uses more renewable energy, but to complain about using dirty gas is just silly. Supply must meet demand at all times and the snowy isn’t exactly full of water at the moment. As demand is continuing to grow in the national electricity system (and demand management hasn’t shown much success yet) why not build a ‘cleaner’ generator in Canberra (and yes they should definitely do an EIS anyway)?

It sure would be nice to have some income earners outside of the federal government in Canberra…

Cletus 9:38 pm 06 Aug 08

I’m sorry, “being nice to the environment when it is convenient”, “China building power plants as fast as they can”.

A couple of newsflashes for you.

It is not ever going to get any more convenient if we keep putting it off for the sake of the economy. It is actually turning into a bigger problem. “When it is convenient” actually means “I don’t have the spine to take responsibility for the problems I helped create, so I’ll let your children’s children worry about it”.

Secondly, finger pointing is not going to get anyone anywhere. Why would it be OK to shit in your own bed just because your neighbours do it?

Actually we should be taking into account the externalities involved in Chinese (among other) manufacturing due to their lax attitude to the environment and human rights. Of course, that’s “inconvenient” too.

miz 6:46 pm 06 Aug 08

The power house operated from 1915 to 1927. Fair point, perhaps the phrase ‘historically speaking’ is misleading, however:

1. maybe there were no other feasible power options then, and also it is possible it was acceptable then whereas it isn’t today (plus people were less empowered – eg, women) and

2. you don’t see heavy industry in the current industrial zones like Fyshwick as it is/was not permitted. Why should it be permitted now – and adjacent to houses?

Info on power house here http://www.aussieheritage.com.au/listings/act/Kingston/KingstonPowerHouse/2231

johnboy 6:25 pm 06 Aug 08

Aside from that coal fired power station they built at Kingston Miz?

miz 6:24 pm 06 Aug 08

They should do an EIS for the Williamsdale site too – in NSW, it is par for the course with any development like this. And peterh, the data centre was not the prob, it was the turbines and generators. This is not a clean green development, it is heavy industrial. Sorry, but where in Canberra is suitable for heavy industrial? I understood (historically speaking) that Canberra was not to get this level of industry, ever.

Pandy 6:21 pm 06 Aug 08

Over there, all of the low end jobs it seems are staffed by _families_ of Maories. Low paid jobs that the whities don’t touch? So what do they do?

Whatsup 6:16 pm 06 Aug 08

Baa !

johnboy 6:07 pm 06 Aug 08

In what particular way?

Pandy 6:05 pm 06 Aug 08

We should emulate New Zealand

johnboy 5:40 pm 06 Aug 08

60 workers? When it’s thousands all at once you’re getting close to the mid 80s experience.

Remember when grown adults queued around the corner for a chance of getting a job at Macdonalds?

Seriously get a grip, this economy is still going fine.

Saw it on the news. Hope they can find other work. Although some of them were over 50 and had litle other work experince, I suspect many will still find employment, given the skills and labour shortages around. Such shortages are the reason I don’t think it will be that bad this time around.

peterh 4:53 pm 06 Aug 08

don’s smallgoods laid of 60 workers, shut 2 factories. for the latest on what is going on, have a look at http://www.smartcompany.com.au

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