AGL invests in generation assets to meet summer demand

Bayswater Power Station on cloudy day (Nu-Rock)
Bayswater Power Station (Image: Shutterstock)

AGL says it will spend over $1 billion in capital and operational expenditure this financial year to maintain its generation assets including major outages, maintenance, and upgrades to meet the needs of its customers and the grid throughout the year.

In addition, AGL is adding 300MW of new flexible generation into the national electricity market with the Torrens and Broken Hill batteries.

Related article: AGL trials flexible demand in commercial/industrial sector

Ahead of the summer season, AGL is carrying out specific summer readiness measures to reduce the fire risk at operational sites. Summer preparedness includes vegetation control, establishment of earth fire breaks, regular training of staff and emergency response teams, and testing of fire response equipment.

AGL is spending $190 million at Bayswater in NSW on maintenance programs and in addition $120 million on unit one. Unit one’s current planned major outage is running between mid-September and mid-December. The works at Bayswater unit one includes critical asset integrity assessments, major repairs, and upgrades to equipment. This work is also providing a boost to the local community with 800 additional contractors involved in the planned outage works.

At Loy Yang in Victoria, AGL is spending $350 million on capital and maintenance across the power station and mine. Works includes minor planned outages on units 2, 3, and 4 in the power station and conveyor extensions in the mine.

At Torrens and Barker Inlet Power Station in South Australia, AGL is spending $27 million on routine maintenance of infrastructure. This includes minor planned outages on each of the units which includes maintenance to the cooling water systems, turbines, and boilers.

At AGL’s hydroelectricity assets, which include the Kiewa Scheme, and Dartmouth and Eildon Power Stations in nlorth-east Victoria, AGL is spending $28 million on maintenance and capital upgrades. The company is also spending $8 million pre-investment as part of the Clover Power Station upgrades this financial year.

AGL chief operating officer Markus Brokhof said preparing for the peak demand energy period of summer involved important work throughout the year.

“As our thermal plants reach the end of their operational life and progressively close by 2035, it’s important we continue to maintain these assets to assist to provide system security as we also target 12GW of new renewable and firming capacity by 2035,” he said.

“Our yearly maintenance program and regular investment in our thermal and renewable assets aims to increase the availability, reliability, and flexibility of our assets so they can respond to the peaks in customer demand throughout the year.

Related article: AGL fined $6m for not providing backup electricity services

“And our bushfire preparedness measures, and training of our response teams is critically important to AGL being as prepared as possible for the hotter months ahead.

“This is a huge body of work that our asset teams prepare for every year. It involves meticulous planning and reviewing of the performance and potential issues across our diverse portfolio of assets so AGL can provide reliable power to the grid.”

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