The Australian Energy Market Operator has revealed in its August Electricity Statement of Opportunities (ESOO) report that Victoria is not expected to meet the national electricity market’s (NEM) reliability standard this summer.
It blames these unplanned outages of two major power stations – Loy Yang A2 and Mortlake 2 for the shortfall, stating their outage poses a significant risk of insufficient supply that could lead to material involuntary load shedding.
If no additional supply is secured, load shedding may take place during extreme weather events, possibly multiple events, where up to 1.3 million households could be without power for four hours.
The ESOO report says a similar situation could be created in New South Wales in 2023-2024 with the closure of coal-fired Liddell Power Station if no mitigation action is taken.
Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor blamed the reliability warning for Victoria on the Andrews Labor Government, stating the Victorian Government has failed to properly replace ageing coal infrastructure, “which has created unnecessary risk to the affordability and reliability of the NEM”.
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“The ESOO report is clear: ‘Most of the announced new generation projects are variable renewable energy generators, which often do not generate at full capacity during peak demand times or may be positioned in a congested part of the network. As a result, while providing significant additional energy during many hours of the year, these projects are forecast to only make a limited contribution to meeting demand during peak hours’,” Mr Taylor says.
“Our Government, along with the NSW Government, has established the Liddell Taskforce to assess the impacts of Liddell’s announced closure on prices and supply in the region.
“While AGL’s decision to extend the life of the Liddell Power Station until at least April 2023 will alleviate supply risks in the short term, more generation and transmission investment is needed to keep the lights on longer term.”
AEMO says Australia needs investment in dispatchable power to alleviate shortfalls.