Revised forecast for life of CQ coal-fired power stations
A CENTRAL Queensland coal-fired power station could close 10 years earlier than previously expected, and another could stay open for five years longer, new data suggests.
The Australian Energy Market Operator data reveals updated dates for the expected closures of Queensland coal-fired power stations.
It said Callide B Power Station's expected closure is 2028, earlier than previous projections of 2038, and Gladstone Power Station's is 2035, which has previously been reported to retire at 2029-30.
Queensland Energy Minister Anthony Lynham said no decisions have been made to close any of Queensland's "efficient, well-maintained coal-fired power stations".
Dr Lynham said the new data reflected the expected technical operating lives of the power stations.
Previous projections which placed Callide B as reaching its end of life at 2038 were calculated on the assumption the plant had a lifespan of 50 years.
"(The data) does not reflect government decisions or policy," Dr Lynham said in a statement.
"The government and the people of Queensland, as the owners, will decide when our power stations close.
"The biggest threat to our government-owned coal-fired power stations is the Morrison Government's plan to use taxpayers' money to underwrite privately-owned power stations."
Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor told the Australian Financial Review that the early closure of coal-fired power stations was his "greatest fear" for the National Electricity Market.
"Pushing baseload generation out prematurely or without a plan for like-for-like replacement is very, very dangerous," Mr Taylor said.
Media reports that Callide B will close a decade earlier are misleading. Callide B has always been scheduled to close in 2028. It was commissioned in 1988, with a technical life of 40yrs. The final decision regarding its closure will be made in consultation with our shareholders.— CS Energy (@CSEnergyQld) October 8, 2019
Dr Lynham pointed to the recent more than $70 million major overhaul that started last Friday at Callide C Power station as an example of the investment being made to ensure the ongoing reliability of coal-fired power stations.
The new information comes as the Queensland Government reveals solar panels can produce twice as much electricity as the Gladstone Power Station.
Dr Anthony Lynham said on Sunday that rooftops and solar farms together had recently passed the 4000 megawatts milestone, compared to the 1680MW of capacity at Gladstone Power Station.
"The incentives in the Palaszczuk Government's Affordable Energy Plan are fuelling the renewable energy switch by Queenslanders and unlocking new market segments and jobs for solar installers.
"Queenslanders are embracing solar energy because they know that solar reduces power bills and carbon emissions."
Dr Lynham said Queensland was on track to achieve its 50 per cent renewable energy target by 2030, and was forecast to hit 20 per cent next year.