Powering On In Gladstone

aluminium-cansFolks, after reading last weeks’ story on Boyne Smelter Ltd’s electricity woes, I sat down and did some sums, which was about as exciting as eating raw liver.

Now, BSL’s electricity usage is approximately 900 megawatts (MW). Frankly, this was as relevant to me as a poker machine is to a duck, but, after hurting my brain (quite a lot), I arrived at the following conclusion… eventually:

BSL requires the same amount of electricity needed to power approximately a million Australian homes, which, by happy coincidence, is the number of homes in Brisbane! That’s a lot of lightbulbs folks! (Note: if you really want to know, it’s exactly 90 million, 100 Watt bulbs.)

Energised by this achievement, I quickly discovered that our power station can pump out nearly 1,700 MW of electricity, which, if my calculator has been given the right data (hopefully), can power 2 million homes, basically, all the homes in Queensland.

Now, if we bolted a 10kW solar system onto the roof of every Queensland home, we’d make just enough solar energy to run BSL; but only during daylight hours, and only on fine, clear days.

Anyway, after double, then triple checking my figures, I handed my heavily scrawled paperwork over to someone less mathematically challenged who laughingly corrected my mistakes. Later we both agreed that there is a huge amount of zappy stuff buzzing out of NRG’s three-stack shed.

I didn’t get around to working out just how many aluminium beer cans BSL needs to make just to cover just one dreaded, quarterly electricity bill, but I’m sure it’s a lot more than I could drink in my lifetime… probably.

Anyhow, now that I’m done fiddling with high voltage mathematics, I’m going to do my bit to keep several local industries powering on; one can at a time.

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