Northern Power Station

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Northern Power Station
Northern Power Station is located in South Australia
Northern Power Station
Location of Northern Power Station
Country Australia
Location Port Augusta, South Australia
Coordinates 32°32′34″S 137°47′15″E / 32.5429°S 137.7874°E / -32.5429; 137.7874Coordinates: 32°32′34″S 137°47′15″E / 32.5429°S 137.7874°E / -32.5429; 137.7874
Commission date 1985
Operator(s) Alinta Energy
Power generation
Primary fuel coal
Units operational 2

Northern Power Station is located in Port Augusta, South Australia. It is coal powered with two 260 MW steam turbines that generate a total of 520 MW of electricity. It is operated and maintained by Flinders Power employees[1] and was commissioned as a 544MW first order base load power station in 1985.[2] Northern receives coal by rail from the Leigh Creek Coal Mine, 280 km to the north. Pending exhaustion of the coal deposits of Leigh Creek has led to concept level proposals emerging for the replacement of the plant with either a gas-fired, a concentrated solar thermal or a nuclear power plant. In 2013, Alinta Energy announced that it was investigating developing a new low-grade coal deposit which could extend the working lives of both Northern and adjacent Playford B power stations until the year 2030.[3] Alinta Energy claims that the Northern Power Station is the lowest conventional marginal cost electricity generator in South Australia.[2] As of 2013, the Northern Power Station only runs for six months of the year.[3]



Carbon Monitoring for Action estimates this power station emits 3.62 million tonnes of greenhouse gases each year as a result of burning coal.[4] Other air-borne emissions are reported annually to the National Pollution Inventory. As of 2012-2013, from greatest to smallest, emissions include: sulfur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, hydrochloric acid, particulate matter, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, manganese, mercury, chromium, boron, chlorine, zinc, nickel, copper, lead and others.[5]


Northern Power Station draws cooling water from Upper Spencer Gulf and returns it to the sea at an elevated temperature. The water is returned 7 °C warmer than the original intake water. The flow rate is 47 m³ per second.[6] Its outfall channel is intended to be used by Sundrop Farms to disperse desalination brine from a proposed seawater desalination plant to be constructed in 2015.

Additional marine emissions include (from largest to smallest): boron, fluoride, arsenic, manganese, chromium, nickel and mercury.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "ASX Release on Babcock and Brown acquisition of NRG Energy's South Australian energy assets" (Press release). Babcock Brown. 
  2. ^ a b "Flinders". Alinta Energy. Alinta Energy. Retrieved 2015-02-23. 
  3. ^ a b Changerathil, Valerina (2015-02-23). "Alinta's ageing coal-fired Northern Power Station, Playford Station at Port Augusta likely to stay until 2030". The Advertiser. Retrieved 2015-02-23. 
  4. ^ "Carbon Monitoring for Action". Center for Global Development. Retrieved 2011-03-05. 
  5. ^ a b "2012/2013 report for FLINDERS OPERATING SERVICES PTY LTD, NORTHERN POWER STATION - Port Augusta, SA". National Pollution Inventory. Australian Government. Retrieved 2015-02-23. 
  6. ^ Nyrstar Port Pirie Smelter Transformation Proposal Public Environment Report. Port Pirie, South Australia: Nyrstar. 2013. p. 179. 

External links[edit]