Ai Group: Hazelwood intervention shouldn’t be ruled out

Hazelwood Power Station
Hazelwood Power Station

With the closure of Hazelwood set for the end of the month, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has reaffirmed the closure would not compromise energy security.

AEMO released a statement in response to recent media reports regarding the closure.

“As noted in earlier AEMO reports, there are power generation resources available in Victoria and the NEM that currently are not operating at all or to their full capacity that can be made available to replace the power currently supplied by Hazelwood,” the statement said.

“AEMO’s market analysis reveals these resources exceed the 1600MW capacity of Hazelwood.

“AEMO has the necessary authority to ensure the security of the system and over the next several months will work with market participants in gas and electricity markets to ensure all necessary plans are in place to secure summer reliability.”

The statement came before Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) said an “11th hour emergency intervention should not be ruled out”.

“With only a week to go until the closure of Victoria’s Hazelwood power station, Ai Group’s members are not convinced that the risks to energy users are being managed effectively and their confidence in both energy prices and supply is eroding,” Ai Group chief executive Innes Willox said.

“While the risks are most acute for energy-intensive industries, they have implications for businesses along all domestic supply chains, their employees as well as for households.

“In the absence of convincing and appropriately sequenced alternative strategies, the state and federal governments should remain open to finding an 11th hour solution to keeping Hazelwood operating in some form.”

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell on Friday his government would not step in to stop the closure of the power station.

He said the decision to close Hazelwood was a commercial one taken by its owner, Engie Australia, who had planned to close the power station for many years.

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