Govt responds to reports of switch off at power station
THE government has moved to reassure the public that no decision has been made to close a Central Queensland coal-fired power station early after reports said the projected shutdown had been pushed forward 10 years.
Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy. Dr Anthony Lynham said that no decision has been made or date chosen to close the Callide B Power Station.
This comes after reports that the Callide B Power Station's expected closure was pushed forward ten years from 2038 based off the assumption the plant had a lifespan of 50 years.
CS Energy recently provided the 2028 closure date to the Australian Energy Market Operator in accordance with new reporting requirements for large generators to provide advance notice of plant closures.
"No decisions have been made to close any of Queensland's efficient, well-maintained coal-fired power stations," Dr Lynham said.
"The government and the people of Queensland, as the owners, will decide when our power stations close.
"And in the future when we do, as the renewable energy transition continues, the local communities and the workers will be looked after under our just transition policies."
In an online statement on Tuesday, CS Energy clarified that the Callide B Power Station was commissioned in 1988, with a technical life of 40 years.
Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) district vice-president Shane Brumker said that the 2028 projected closure date is no cause for concern.
"This has come around AEMO (Australian Energy Market Operator) wanting generators to supply a date and to publish that," Mr Brumker said.
"I can tell the workers and the Biloela community that date will change subject to maintenance and ongoing investment into the plant which the Government is supporting.
"My discussion with Government is they are not ready to close any base-load generation coal-fired until later because renewable can't fill the gap yet for some time."
Mr Brumker believes however that the viability and ongoing capacity of the Callide Power Station will be affected if Lacour Energy's proposed Banana Range Wind Farm Project goes ahead.
"Any increase in generation from alternative supplies such as wind will affect the output from the base load generators," Mr Brumker said.
In response, James Townsend from Lacour Energy said that Lacour's project wouldn't affect production at the power station.
"Callide Power Station currently generates around 20% of Queensland's electricity use and Banana Range Wind Farm will only generate about 1%," Mr Townsend said. "The Australian Energy Market Operator forecast is for 1% growth in electricity use in Queensland each year, for the next five years.
"The Banana Range Wind Farm therefore will only meet the electricity growth for one year and thus we don't believe it will impact the amount of electricity required from other power stations such as Callide."
CS Energy have said that the final decision regarding Callide B Power Station's closure will be made in consultation with their shareholders.