The next phase of community consultation for the proposed Solar Dawn power plant has commenced to identify possible routes for the project’s gas and water pipelines.
The 250 megawatt solar thermal power plant, to be built near Chinchilla, was announced as the preferred solar thermal power project in Round 1 of the Australian Government’s Solar Flagships Program in July this year, paving the way for project development and contractual processes to be completed by the end of 2011.
The solar thermal gas hybrid plant requires water for its steam condensers and to clean its mirrors, and gas for a gas boiler back-up system to generate electricity during high-demand periods – even when the sun isn’t shining. The project is proposing to use treated recycled water and will generate electricity from its back-up boilers no more than 15 per cent of the plant’s annual generation.
The latest round of consultation will involve one-on-one meetings between Solar Dawn project consultants CNC Project Management (CNC) and landholders to discuss route options, seek input and gain permission to conduct initial site investigations.
Solar Dawn Development Manager Andrew Dickson said CNC will meet with prospective local landholders over the next few weeks to develop study corridors for the pipelines.
“We hope to maximise the use of local road reserves and minimise any impacts on private landholders, whilst meeting environmental and statutory planning obligations,” Mr Dickson said.
“We’re seeking input from local landholders and other interested organisations on the proposed study corridor, to help select the best alignments for the two pipelines.
“Local knowledge and understanding of the terrain and local geology is extremely useful. By identifying matters of landholder importance early, it is hoped that viable pipeline routes can be identified.”
The consultation forms part of preliminary pipeline assessments currently being completed, with final routes to be determined in agreement with landholders. Routes are being investigated for an underground gas pipeline from the existing Roma to Brisbane Gas Pipeline to the project site and an underground water pipeline from APLNG’s Talinga Water Treatment Plant to the project site.
“As part of this process, CNC will be seeking permission to access some properties to complete low-level, non-intrusive land studies. This input and the outcomes from the land studies will help minimise any impacts from the proposed pipelines,”
Mr Dickson said.
This next stage of consultation follows three initial community information sessions held in July in Chinchilla, Kogan and Dalby.