The Territory is growing and Power and Water needs to match demand from the growing residential, business and industrial community with reliable power, water and sewerage services.
We live and work in a tough environment with extremes in weather. It is an ongoing challenge to get services ‘on the ground’ where they are required and to meet current and future demand. Major refurbishment, replacement and upgrades as part of the current infrastructure investment program are outlined below.
- Owen Springs Power Station is situated 25km south of Alice Springs and has been designed to meet the town's power needs for the next 50 years. Three new gas engines have been installed and commissioned. High voltage transmission lines have been installed to connect the power station to the Lovegrove Zone Substation, which has been upgraded.
- Weddell Power Station - In 2008-2009 two 43MW gas generating units were added at Weddell to the Darwin-Katherine electricity grid. When the third set is fully commissioned all three highly efficient machines will operate solely on natural gas, ensuring that Weddell emits far less greenhouse gases than other comparable power stations. When complete they will add about 25% to the generation capacity on the Darwin-Katherine power system.
- Rolls Royce turbines for Channel Island Power Station - Two new 45MW units are installed and have been commissioned at Channel Island Power Station, the largest electricity source for Darwin and Katherine, to increase capacity and allow refurbishment of the older units at the site.
- The Undergrounding Power Project - The undergrounding power project has connected properties in Nightcliff, Rapid Creek and Millner to an underground power supply. Gradual removal of street power poles is continuing.
- Archer Zone Substation - The project is well advanced with two final feeders being added in the middle of this year. Archer will support the demand for electricity distribution in the Palmerston and East Arm Port area, while also providing support to the new suburbs of Mitchell, Johnson and Zuccoli. During construction a second 66 000 volt transmission line was installed to provide a future secure supply route from the new Weddell Power Station to the greater Darwin region.
- Leanyer Zone Substation - Construction of a brand new zone substation located in Leanyer is underway and is scheduled for completion in late 2013.
- Darwin CBD water supply enhancement - Darwin's central business district is growing rapidly and new water mains are needed to meet demand. Power and Water has installed 1.2km of pipe along the south side of the Esplanade and Daly Street. Work has now commenced to place 2km of mains along Dinah Beach Road, Duke Street, Burt Street, Day Street and McMinn Street with direct drilling under Daly Street Bridge and McMinn Street. This project will ensure continuing water supply to the CBD, Stuart Park and surrounds.
- Raising the full supply level of Darwin River Dam - The full supply level of Darwin River Dam has been increased by 20% with the raising of the dam spillway by 1.3 metres in 2009 and 2010. This work has increased the capacity of the reservoir, which supplies Darwin, Palmerston and surrounding rural areas. The project was finalised with works on the intake tower in 2011.
- Manton Dam water quality sampling project is ongoing. The project involves the release of water from the dam to the Manton River, and a program of water quality and environmental monitoring. The project will assist Power and Water in its understanding of the behaviour of the reservoir and the variability of water quality.
- Alice Water Smart is a two year project that aims to preserve Alice Springs’ finite groundwater source and secure the long term sustainability of the town. The aim is to reduce water consumption by Alice Springs’ residents by 1600 million litres per year, equivalent to two months average water supply. The $15 million Alice Water Smart Plan includes home and business water audits, an expanded rebate scheme, smart irrigation for parks and ovals, improved water management and increased recycling and installation of smart meters to allow homes and businesses to monitor water use. Funding of $7.5 million is being provided under the National Water Security Plan for Cities and Towns, a key component of the Australian Government’s long-term Water for the Future initiative. This was matched by Power and Water with contributions from consortium members.
- Palmerston South Elevated Water Tank - As part of the ongoing strategy to secure the water supply for the growing population of the City of Palmerston and adjoining rural areas, a new elevated water storage tank will be built. The new elevated water storage will provide supply to the eastern suburbs of Zuccoli, Johnston, Bellamack and Palmerston South as well as potential interim supply to areas of Howard Springs.
Construction is expected to start in Dry Season 2013 and be completed in Dry Season 2014.
- Larrakeyah Outfall Closure Plan - Larrakeyah outfall is now closed. Read the article for more information. Work to upgrade Ludmilla Wastewater Treatment Plant and plans to extend East Point Outfall continue. A broader program of upgrades to wastewater treatment facilities in the Darwin area continues.
- Water Reuse in the Alice Project - The Alice Springs Water Reclamation Plant, which has won a national Engineers Australia Award, was opened in May 2008 and can recycle up to 600 megalitres of water a year - a valuable resource in the desert town.