Sunday, June 23, 2013

Recent work trips

 Ok, ok... so its not such a catchy blog title, but I promise the post won't be too boring!

Over the last couple of weeks I have had a couple of work trips. One a day trip to Collie and the other an overnight trip to Geraldton.

The day trip started with a visit to Premier Mines (my work's main coal supplier). It was a very interesting visit learning all about the ins and outs of coal mining.
We got up close and personal to the action as well. All I could think of was how much Ethan would LOVE the diggers!
 After the mine visit we stopped in at Muja Power Station for a team meeting (part of my Trading and Fuel team is based at the power station). The station has eight steam turbines served by coal fired boilers that generate 800+ MW of electricity.
The following week we headed north to see an entirely different type of electricity generation! 

Our first stop was at Mumbida Wind Farm - a 55MW wind farm with 22 wind turbines based east of Geraldton. 
 Here are some shots of the switchyard.
 To put the sheer size of the turbine into perspective, my workmates are on the ladder at the bottom!
 Always of interest is the difference in terrain for a Western Australian wind farm (left) and a Wellington wind farm (on the right).
Our next stop was at the Greenough River Solar Farm (currently the largest solar farm in the southern hemisphere - at 10MW). There are 150,000 panels contained in a 1km by 1km block!
 There were some great opportunities for reflection photos off the panels!

 The site is manned by just one staff member, and apparently there is a fox which is currently evading capture. I can imagine the fox outwitting this man for many years to come!

After a long days driving we made our way into Geraldton itself. I managed to get out for an 8km run (all I had time for before dinner). It was a beautiful evening as these snaps from my iPhone show!
 It was so lovely and peaceful running through the marina.... I could have run forever and was very disappointed to be on a time limit!
The next morning I ran again, this time around 15km. I followed this up with a 20 min soak in the outdoor spa! What a treat!
 After breakfast we visited the HMAS Sydney II Memorial which honours the 645 Australian Sailors who lost their lives off the WA coast during a WWII battle with a German raider. The memorial features 5 elements - a silver dome of 645 seagulls representing the life of each lost sailor. The Wall of remembrance features the names of the Sydney crew. A bronze female statue of a woman gazing out to sea represents the families awaiting news of the ill-fated ship. There is a monument representing the bow of the ship and finally the pool of remembrance - 644 seagulls line the base of the pool and the 645th seagull stands 2m tall, with its wings indicating the coordinates of where the wreck lies under the sea.
 After that we began our LONG journey home! We stopped for lunch at Lancelin - not a bad spot to enjoy a bite to eat!

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