Powering up for summer

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FIVE diesel-powered generators are being installed this month to help avoid summer power shortages or blackouts across the Mornington Peninsula.

The temporary power sources will be installed by energy generation and distribution company GreenSync at Rye, Boneo and Dromana and removed when demand drops in April.

While batteries or “renewables and demand response technologies” may eventually replace the generators, metering devices, a switchboard, concrete foundations and underground cabling will be permanent.

When approving the generators at their 16 September planning services committee meeting Mornington Peninsula Shire councillors agreed to keep pressuring the federal and state governments to pay for “plug-in grid scale batteries” to eventually replace the generators.

“The equipment will be made available for the emergency generation of power when the network experiences extreme demand, 24 hours, seven days a week,” senior planner Veronica Lyngcoln stated in a report to councillors.

“Once the main network triggers extreme demand, the generators are ‘switched on’ systematically.

Ms Lyngcoln said GreenSync had an agreement to supply extra power to United Energy during peak periods of electricity demand over summer.

The locations for the generators are 605 Limestone and 115-141 Browns roads, Boneo; 340 Browns Road, Rye; and 163 and 133 (the Dromana Drive-In), Nepean Highway, Dromana.

Neighbouring property owners who were notified of the GreenSync plans raised no objections to the generators, which are all being installed on rural lots within the green wedge zone.

Melbourne Water, which manages a property opposite one of the Dromana generators, recommended a site environmental management plan be undertaken, but GreenSync had already submitted one.

Ms Lyngcoln said using “relatively large rural lots” for the generators “presents a suitable planning outcome with minimal off-site amenity impacts, which could otherwise be an issue if sited in an urban residential area”.

Operation of the generators has also been cleared by the shire’s environmental health officer and complies with planning regulations.

The environmental management plan prepared for GreenSync by Erias Group says identifying that each of the five generator sites “presents relatively low risk with respect to noise, air quality, soils, vegetation, flora and fauna, spills and contamination, waste, traffic, vehicle access, Aboriginal cultural heritage, flooding, utilities and land restoration”.

Noise barriers will be installed alongside the generator at 340 Browns Road and both Dromana generators.

First published in the Mornington News – 1 October 2019

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