The diesel generators at the old Holden factory has been installed in the wake of last summers power problems. (ABC News: Leah MacLennan)
Diesel generators designed to prevent blackouts over summer are officially ready to go in Adelaide, with the SA Government promising they can be turned on to supply power to the grid within 12-and-a-half minutes.
The nine generators are part of the Government’s $550 million energy plan, designed in response to blackouts and a lack of supply last summer.
They have been temporarily installed at the former Holden site in Elizabeth and at the Lonsdale desalination plant, but will eventually be consolidated at a single location and switch from diesel to gas generation.
SA Premier Jay Weatherill said the project was ahead of time and under budget but he would not say how much the project cost, citing commercial in confidence.
“Across all of the domains — whether it’s the renewable technology fund, the battery, the lease — the ultimate purchase is within the $550 million budget,” he said.
The Government has a two-year lease on the generators but said it planned to buy them as soon as possible.
The Opposition, however, has been scathing of the plan, claiming power generation should be left to the private sector.
Opposition deputy leader Vickie Chapman said the Government should not commit to buying a plant ahead of the state election in March next year.
“Clearly the Government are attempting to bind any future government with an absolute dodgy deal,” Ms Chapman said.
“My message is clear to the Government. Do not sign a contract to commit South Australians to acquire this diesel generator before we’ve even tried it.”
Ms Chapman would not say whether a future Liberal government would sell the generators.