Lithgow’s Mt Piper power station will celebrate 25 years of operation by throwing open its doors for a day of family activities and food on Sunday 15 April.
Head of Mt Piper Malcolm Murphy said the plant and the people who worked there were proud to be part of the region’s decades-long history in the energy industry.
“Mt Piper was commissioned in 1993 and to this day remains one of the country’s most efficient coal-fired power stations, with the capacity to provide more than 1 million homes and businesses across New South Wales with affordable, reliable electricity,” Malcolm said.
“It’s made an outstanding contribution over many years, but the real heroes are the people who run the plant and the local communities.
“Mt Piper has had its share of challenges and the community’s support has meant we’ve never faced them alone. The open day is a chance to say thanks and make clear that the story of energy in this region has many more chapters to it yet.”
To mark the quarter-century anniversary, Mt Piper’s owner EnergyAustralia will donate $25,000 to three local community groups. This is in addition to the $60,000 annual community grants program.
Malcom said Mt Piper had worked with the Lithgow City Council to identify three community initiatives that would most benefit the people of Portland and its surrounds. These included revitalisation works at the Portland pool and funding for the Portland Spring Fair and the Portland Business Association Christmas Trading Program.
“They’re all worthy causes and it’s impossible to choose just one. So, we’ll be asking people at the open day to vote on the one that’s most important to them,” he said. “The cause with the most votes at the end of Sunday will receive $15,000, and the two runners-up will get $5,000 each.”
The family open day will also include face painting, children’s amusement rides, a petting zoo, slot cars, and jumping castle; a free barbeque will be provided.
Bus and walking tours of the power station will run from 10.15am until 3.15pm, giving people a rare look into electricity generation at one of the state’s long serving pieces of energy infrastructure.
Information sessions will be held in the ‘Energy Expo Centre’ at the site’s front entrance, on Mt Piper’s potential energy recovery project and water treatment plant. Photos from the plant’s 25 years of operations will be displayed, while local community organisations including the RFS and NSW Fire and Rescue, Dragon Boating Club, Highland Band and classic car clubs will provide demonstrations or host displays.
The 1400-megawatt Mt Piper power station can supply up to 15 per cent of New South Wales’ electricity demand and is critical to the state’s energy system reliability, especially during peak periods over summer. The plant and the Springvale mine which supplies it, owned by Centennial Coal, support around 600 direct and indirect jobs in and around Lithgow.
As Mt Piper is a working power station, attendees are asked to pay attention to any safety instructions, wear appropriate enclosed footwear and to look out for each other while touring the plant.
Mt Piper’s open day will be held on Sunday 15 April from 10am – 4pm, 350 Boulder Rd, Portland.