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Blue Snoopy is a 2012 Nova Vita Caravan pulled by a 2012 Nissan Navara ST Dual Cab Ute.

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19 September 2017 – Wallerawang (Lake Wallace) NSW

Wind, wind and more wind.

Fortunately, the temperature was reasonable with this delightful site only spoilt by the wind.

With our travelling friends, we decided to do a little exploration of the area.  Tasking the Navara, first we headed into Wallerawang which is only a small town with a handful of shops and a deserted railway station.  Wallerawang must have been a little busier when the power station was in operation.  Lake Wallace was created as the source of cooling water for the power station.

The Wallerawang Power Station started operating in 1957. The coal fired power station consists of two units with a combined capacity of 1,000MW, with the power station previously capable of supplying around 950,000 homes in New South Wales each year.

During its lifetime, it played an important role in providing power for the western rail electrification and the development of New South Wales’ western coalfields.  More recently, it has helped supply electricity to the NSW residential and business energy market.

In the late 1970’s it underwent a significant overhaul which saw the current two 500MW turbines built. The power station underwent its last major refurbishment in the mid-1990s to extend its operational life by another 15 years.

In November 2014, Energy Australia announced that it would be closing Wallerawang power station. Ongoing lower energy demand and Wallerawang’s higher operating costs caused by age and inefficiency ultimately led to this decision.

One of the two generating units was decommissioned in January 2013, the second in April 2014.  Plans apparently are underway for the demolition of the structures on the site.

Driving past the power station, it was clear that the plant was not operating as the car parks were empty.

Joining the main Lithgow to Mudgee Road, we headed north and departed at the Portland turnoff and then headed to the second power station in the area, Mt Piper.

Built over two stages in 1992 and 1993, the Mt Piper power station comprises of two 700 MW coal-fired steam turbine generators which have the capacity to meet the energy needs of approximately 1.18 million homes in New South Wales every year.

Mt Piper power station is fuelled using black coal sourced from mines in the local area. The power station’s furnaces are designed to utilise the characteristics of the locally available coal to improve its efficiency and help keep the power station’s emissions below statutory requirements.

Mt Piper draws its cooling water from Lyell Dam and Thomsons Creek Dam, both of which were specifically built to supply water to the power station.

Stopping at the Visitor’s Centre, we explored the history of the plant and the process of power generation.  We could have waited for a tour at 11am but decided to continue our look around the area.

Next stop (not actually a stop) was Portland where we drove through the main part of town.  Again, we were in a small town heavily reliant on job generation from the power station at Mt Piper.

Returning to Wallerawang, we stopped at the local grocery store.  “He” took pictures of the abandoned railway station before we returned to our camp site.

Later in the afternoon we played ladder golf and disc bowls.  With clear skies, we also took the opportunity to setup a couple of telescopes and looked at the night sky and Jupiter in the west before it set.

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