Dirty Energy Power Plant in Canberra

deezagood 28 April 2008 117

Readers may be interested to learn that the Canberra energy company ActewAGL (which has the ACT Chief Minister and Deputy as voting shareholders) is planning to build a 2 billion dollar gas turbine operated power plant, just 600 metres from a residential suburb. This type/size of plant will emit approximately 95 million cubic metres (38,000 Olympic swimming pools) of poisonous exhaust fumes into the atmosphere every day. Aside from the constant whining of the gas turbines, the main concern is the amount of Nitrogen Dioxide that will be blown over our community (our research indicates that primarily Isaacs, Swinger Hill and Wanniasa will be affected).

Even in low levels this toxin causes increased bronchial reactivity in asthmatics, decreased lung function and increased risk of respiratory infections. For this reason, these plants are usually located in rural areas, far away from local communities.

These gas plants use dirty energy (the only dirtier energy is black coal); hardly in keeping with the federal government’s promise to reduce greenhouse emissions. Where is the proposal for clean energy such as hydro, wind and solar?

ActewAGL have ‘sold’ the development as a mean of supplying power for a ‘data storage centre’, but we estimate that the centre (which is basically a ruse to enable the power plant to get the green light) will require about 33 MW, leaving an additional 177MW for ActewAGL to sell back to the Australian Power Grid. To accommodate this power plant, the government has surreptitiously re-zoned local land (currently a nature reserve and horse agistment areas).

Where other governments act to protect the health and well-being of their citizens, ours re-zones land to enable dirty energy power plants to be built 600 metres from homes; we are so lucky to live in the ACT.

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117 Responses to Dirty Energy Power Plant in Canberra
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VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy 9:58 am 06 Jun 08

Sorry, should read “dissociates slightly”.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy 9:56 am 06 Jun 08

All rain is slightly acidic, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere dissolves into the the rain as it falls and dissociates slight.
Nitrous dioxide is a fact of burning anything.
Low frequency noise typically won’t (or can’t) be heard.
Too close? Decided by who?

More typical hot air dressed up as fact.

struth struth 9:48 am 06 Jun 08

The FACTS are,
Creates acid rain.
Nitrous Dioxide.
Low Frequency noise.
Is too close to an urban environment ( irrespective of home values! )
50% of ACTEWAGL is owned by Singapore Power, therefor it maybe correct to summise that for the people of Canberra there is no choice when it comes to deciding what source their power is supplied from.
Yes, there are alternatives but do we have a choice? I think not!!!
Nothing like a monopoly on power supply.
Whatever happened to competition?

josephbloggsjr josephbloggsjr 8:14 am 02 May 08

As I was having difficulty finding all the information & “facts” I needed about this power station, I put up links to all the important documentation at:


Hope this helps.

Pandy Pandy 10:45 pm 30 Apr 08

Ingeegoodbee, go top your kids. Then do yourself.

sepi sepi 8:56 pm 30 Apr 08

I don’t live near there and I still don’t think it’s a good idea.

Ingeegoodbee Ingeegoodbee 8:34 pm 30 Apr 08

The site at Hume that ACTEW are proposing to build this essential community facility has been earmarked for exactly this sort of development since at least 2000. If we all take a deep breath and a little reality check we’ll understand that there are no significant threats to public health and well being – in the same way that the world diddn’t end when the GDE got built or the sky diddn’t fall when the redundant schools were closed. Sure there’ll always be a handful of dumb-ar$e butt-fuks who genuinely believe that they are so special that they have a right to expect the rest of society to revolve around them, but when it comes down to any objective assessment of the facts, these whinging ballbag-suckers end up revealed as the lonely little cry-babies they are.

If you’r happy to personally pick up the difference in lost economic gain then feel free to respond – otherwise you can just shut the fuk up and go crawl back under your rock.

sepi sepi 8:23 pm 30 Apr 08

ANd Tuggeranong already has an air pollution problem in Winter, due to wood fires, and the air sitting in the valley.

This idea just seems like a dud for heaps of reasons.

I hope it’s not another one of these hare-brained schemes they invest millions in, only to give up on once it turns out to be a disaster (like the hospital pay parking).

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 6:20 pm 30 Apr 08

Putting aside a pretty abusive thread all round (in the traditional RA way…) I am amazed that the ACT govt is considering a large CO2 producing power station for Canberra (or anywhere).

“gas fired electricity generation produces approximately 21-43% less CO2 equivalent emissions of that produced from black coal electricity generation.”
That means it produces 57-79% as much CO2 as coal power. In my books (and counting in margins of error) that equals almost as much. And that it 57-79% too much.
This day and age, with what we know now, and the environmentally enlightened ACT Govt is considering adding into it??

ACT the “exemplar for the nation”? Yeah right.

I’m curious just how much of the CM’s much-vaunted climate strategy gains this one power station will wipe out?

Solar PV and solar thermal is how we should be investing.
And I think the data centre is just a furphy to get this thing up anyway…

Pandy Pandy 6:06 pm 30 Apr 08

Imagine if you lived on Outrim Avenue in Calwell and this power station was to be built on the round-about of the intersection of Ashley and Isabella Drives?

Shitting yourself now?

el el 6:03 pm 30 Apr 08

Mael: There’s already a couple of data centres that have been T4 accredited to various levels of sensitivity (I can’t 100% verify TS/S, but HP is absolutely no problem).

The trend is towards ‘document management’ type systems where users _can’t_ delete data nowadays, and redundancy redundancy redundancy on server farms. Far greater auditing ability, too.

Just to side-track a bit: You live ‘near the shit factory’ though? I’m guessing the Lower Molonglo one?

Mælinar Mælinar 4:41 pm 30 Apr 08

@moff – I never said anything about inhouse data servers. I just can’t see the ADF putting the list of current serving personnel on an outside hard drive, they have a hard enough time keeping sensitive material out of computers at the qantas club, as an example.

And given that government takes up in my estimation at least 90% of the computing power in Canberra at the moment, I can’t fathom why we need data centres.

Similarly, I can’t see sanity records putting their cd’s in store database there either, for the same reasons I mentioned before about in house processing power.

I just can’t fathom why we need data centres. Happy for you to chip in anytime with something substantial, rather than snide personal attacks, sunshine.

p1 p1 4:13 pm 30 Apr 08

I am surprised that the power plant isn’t being built at Snowtown…

moff moff 3:04 pm 30 Apr 08

Mælinar: “I can’t fathom why we need data centres anyway. The 80’s are a distant memory (those who were in IT at the time will remember the sudden loss of all data incidents), and individual PC’s have more than enough disk space already.”

If you find it UNFATHOMABLE that datacentres are a vital part of many businesses and government departments, then you sir are a moron.

Mælinar Mælinar 8:18 am 30 Apr 08

I can’t fathom why we need data centres anyway. The 80’s are a distant memory (those who were in IT at the time will remember the sudden loss of all data incidents), and individual PC’s have more than enough disk space already.

I can’t see Defence putting their data in the hands of an outside organisation, no matter what is suggested as a possibility. Similarly for most other Government organisations – they have too much to lose if you think about it for longer than 5 minutes with data privacy, the official secrets act, and responsibility over personal data that is captured for official purposes in mind.

I care not, however, about the placement of a gas plant. There’s ample space near my house, down between the shit factory and the overhead powerlines going to the power station, if they want to put it there.

Pandy Pandy 7:44 am 30 Apr 08

If the prison can be built on Broadacre NUZ1 Non urban land, so could the power generator across the road on the Monaro Highway. Look at the actpla.act.gov.au online mapping software.

Would it be that the proposed site is ONLY 1.5 km from the Gilmore ACTEW sub-station that could mean the electricity could be fed in to the National Grid? Nah

RuffnReady RuffnReady 12:19 am 30 Apr 08

They could put this development anywhere, and it makes far more sense to use some land well away from the suburbs to do so. Who owns the land? Something very fishy is going on.

deezagood deezagood 12:01 am 30 Apr 08

Yeah baby – things sure will be pretty ‘far out’ in Macarthur when the gas pipelines start leaking – woo hoo (hmmmm …. maybe I’ll stay after all)

deezagood deezagood 11:55 pm 29 Apr 08

Dear residents .. in light of your fervent protests against the proposed massive gas turbine operated power plant (and fake data storage centre) 600 metres away from your suburb, ActewAGL has reconsidered their submission and have selected are site much further away from your suburb as requested. Having learnt our lesson the hard way, we are, for the first time, actively engaging in community consultation with the business owners in Hume; blog activity indicates that they are quite accepting of such a plant in their vicinity, so we are quietly optomistic for a quick agreement.

You will be pleased to know that ACTPLA has recently re-zoned this vacant Tuggeranong Block to acommodate the develoment of a secret government centre for scientific animal research. Although this will involve a range of experiments on somewhat noisy animals such as monkeys, pigs and dogs, this experimentation ill only be conducted during the hours of 9am – 5 pm week days. You will be pleased to learn that these animals are considerably less noisy and smelly than the proposed turbine gas plant so you might feel grateful you NIMBY caveman whingers.

Kind regards,

blahdy blah

(sorry – but this was actually the only thing I could think of that would be worse than the power plant)

el el 11:34 pm 29 Apr 08

Nah, it’s too far out…

I’m sure the long term residents of Wanniassa were unhappy when developers started squeezing mcmansions up on the hill (nature reserve) in what eventually became Fadden and Macarthur, too… 🙂

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