How a Power Station Closure Will Affect You
The Liddell Power Station is a coal-fueled thermal power station in NSW with four 500 Megawatt (MW) GEC steam driven turbo alternators. When it was first built it created a combined electrical capacity of 2,000MW. Commissioned in 1973, the generating plant has a 50 year life, with MW capacity dropping year on year and currently sitting at just 1,680MW.
AGL, who own Liddell, have plans to run the plant until 2022, when it will be decommissioned. Currently, the plant accounts for an average of 10% of power supply. This figure is consistently changing, however, as the plant output is unpredictable and varies from day to day. In a February 2017 heatwave in NSW, 3 of 4 turbines broke down and it was unable to keep up with demand.
Break downs and consequent power outages are on trend to continue. If AGL expands their Bayswater plant by 100MW and they complete a planned Silverton Wind Farm, Liddell will be decommissioned, significantly increasing the risk of load shedding which could result in power outages for up to 200,000 homes.
While AGL has its sights set on closure, the government is urging the company to sell instead - allowing a different company to maintain the plant and continue it running for another 5-7 years. Currently, all these decisions are up in the air, but closure to the Liddell Power Station would create a huge downfall in reliable energy supply, causing increased blackouts across the East coast.
What does this mean for you?
Closure of the Liddell power station - which will occur either by 2022 or not long after that - could result in either of two things:
1. Your electricity bill will increase (again)
Closure of the power station could result in higher bills for your electricity, as supply drops and demand remains the same. AGL has been accused of trying to close the plant to 'jack up power prices' across Australia. Source
2. You'll have power outages
If the Liddell power station closes, existing power sources may struggle to meet demand, resulting in power outages or scheduled load shedding - affecting up to 200,000 homes. Source
What can I do about it?
Regardless of the decisions AGL and the Australian Government make, the best solution is to protect your home and business from power outages or increased power prices. As we've mentioned in previous newsletters, a backup generator can save you thousands in potential lost income and keep vital business or home operations connected - such as food storage, livestock management, or security systems.
Our sales staff in all three branches will be able to find a solution to suit your home or business needs, so give us a no-obligation call to have a discussion about what you need.
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