Deep blue WA government looking into Diesel generator to keep lights on – Brightness boost thanks to that?

Essay by Eric Worrall

“…There was a lukewarm response from the market to provide more capacity…”

‘Dirty’ diesel generators may be needed during Perth summer as WA energy crisis worsens

Via Daniel Mercer

Western Australia’s largest electricity system operator could have to spend tens of millions of dollars renting a diesel backup generator as part of a desperate bid to keep the lights on this summer.

Main attractions:

  • WA’s power supply was disrupted on a large scale
  • There has been a lukewarm response from the market to provide more capacity
  • Generators may be needed if the grid is overloaded

Amid widespread disruptions in WA’s power supply, the Australian Energy Market Operator called for tenders in September from energy companies and users to provide an additional 174MW of capacity in the coming months. four months from December 1.

However, it is understandable that the system operator received a mild response from the market when the bidding period for additional capacity ended last month.

AEMO is now said to be considering the use of dirty diesel generators that could provide backup power in case the grid is stressed in the near term.

In calling for more capacity, AEMO in September noted that the system was dealing with a “shortage” of reserves caused by a number of different reasons.

Among them were an early shutdown of a power plant in Kwinana, south of Perth, the unexpected shutdown of another gas-fired plant north of the city and a forecast increase in demand. peak demand.

On top of that, AEMO and the state Labor government have also been affected by fallout from a worsening crisis in WA’s coal basin that has long formed the backbone of the power industry.

Two months ago, the Indian-owned Griffin coal mine near Collie, 180 kilometers south of Perth, fell into reception after years of operational problems and growing losses and debt.

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In my opinion, the main cause of this energy capacity crisis and the “indifferent” response to requests for additional capacity is the hostility of regulations towards reliable energy and coal mining. .

For example, the Western Australian Government has been pushing the claim that it doesn’t need coal plants anymore, because of rooftop solar.

State-owned coal power plants to be decommissioned by 2030

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

  • The Muja and Collie power plants will be shut down in response to the massive uptake of rooftop solar and renewable energy.
  • Changes needed to improve system security and protect from higher electricity bills, as WA transitions to more renewable energy
  • Without action average annual household electricity costs are expected to rise by more than $1,200 by 2030
  • $547.4 million package to secure new industrial projects and create jobs in Collie
  • Brings the McGowan Government’s total investment in Collie to over $662 million
  • The McGowan Government, through Synergy, invests an estimated $3.8 billion in new green power infrastructure around the State, including Collie and the WA region
  • Investment is expected to pay for itself in 2030-31 against the status quo of increasing electricity subsidies
  • Household electricity prices are still limited by inflation

Western Australia’s state-owned coal power plants will be shut down by 2030 – as continued use of renewables and rooftop solar forces changes to the energy system to ensure it provide safe electricity and guard against higher electricity bills.

Collie Power Station will close by the end of 2027 and Muja D by the end of 2029. As previously announced, Muja C Unit 5 will close later this year and Unit 6 in 2024.

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You might be thinking, if Western Australia wants reliable zero-carbon energy, why not build nuclear? Western Australia is rich in minerals known reserves of 226,000 tons of Uranium, and large open spaces where reactors can be built away from human habitation. But even Uranium mining banned in Western Australialet alone actually build a nuclear reactor.

This energy crisis could take a toll on the Australian federal government’s finances, not just Western Australia. A significant portion of Australia’s national tax revenue is generated from mining operations in Western Australia, a fact often cited by Western Australian politicians when claiming that Western Australia provides more than the tax base. its reasonable. But those Western Australian mines need affordable, reliable energy to mine, process and ship products.

Without a doubt, the Western Australian Government will respond to this energy crisis by providing more subsidies for rooftop solar.


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