Cummins Power Generation have built the 26 MW peaking plant at Kurri Kurri in the NSW Hunter Valley. The 26 MW peaking plant matches two other power stations built by Cummins Power Generation at Lonsdale in Adelaide and Angaston in South Australia’s Barossa Valley for low emissions.
The three power stations, owned by Infratil Energy Australia, use selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology to deliver near-zero emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx), a smog-causing pollutant and greenhouse gas. The New South Wales EPA wanted global practice in terms of emissions reduction at the peaking plant in Kurri Kurri. Cummins Power Generation achieved NOx emissions reduction with SCR.
The unmanned peaking plant, which comprises 16 Cummins QSK60 generators – each rated at 1.62 MW – is connected to the national electricity grid and operates only when market demand or pricing is high. The plant was built on a turn-key basis for Infratil Energy Australia, an electricity market participant through national grid system operator NEMMCO (National Electricity Market Management).
The plant was built on a greenfield site in the Hunter Economic Zone. Apart from the technical aspects of building the power station, Cummins Power Generation had to get a cultural heritage assessment, assess the impact on flora and fauna, and commit to extensive landscaping. The peaking plant is permanently connected to the grid. Infratil Energy Australia remotely starts and stops the plant as required. All 16 generator sets start up, synchronise and within two minutes are generating 26 MW. Start-up can be achieved simply by sending an SMS text message to the Cummins Power Generations’ digital master control system for the gensets.
The SCR technology is used to treat the exhaust gases of the 60-litre, V16 QSK60 diesel engines that power the gensets. The process starts with the supply of urea which combines with air at the point of injection in the exhaust stream. This works with catalysts to convert NOx into nitrogen and water vapour – two harmless and natural components of the air.
The gensets, which operate at 415V and step up to 33 kV through 16 transformers, are housed in acoustic buildings that restrict noise level to 65 dBA at the boundary fence, which is four metres away at the nearest point.