The Australian Energy Market Operator has published an update to the 2015 Electricity Statement of Opportunities as a result of the recent announcement that Northern Power Station will be withdrawn by 31 March 2016.
The National Electricity Rules requires the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to provide updates to the Electricity Statement of Opportunities (ESOO) as soon as practicable when significant new information becomes available relating to supply or demand projections, including plant retirements.
In the 2015 ESOO, published in August 2015, AEMO used Alinta Energy’s June 2015 announcement about the closure of Northern and Playford B power stations to model:
- The expected withdrawal of Northern Power Station by summer 2017−18, and
- The permanent withdrawal of Playford B Power Station (mothballed since 2012).
On 7 October 2015, Alinta Energy issued a press release announcing that generation would cease at both Northern and Playford B power stations by 31 March 2016.
The closure of these power stations removes 786 MW (or 15%) of generation capacity from South Australia. Of this total, 240 MW (the capacity of Playford B) was already modelled as withdrawn in the 2015 ESOO. The 546 MW capacity of Northern Power Station will be removed some 18 months earlier than modelled in the 2015 ESOO.
The revised closing date for Northern Power Station is not expected to result in Reliability Standard breaches in the three years modelled to 2017-18. However the earlier withdrawal of Northern Power Station will impact South Australia’s supply demand balance from summer 2016-17 under extreme conditions.
For there to be sufficient supply to meet periods of high demand in South Australia, the region will rely (to a greater extent in the next three years than was projected in the 2015 ESOO) on:
- Availability of wind generation.
- Imports via interconnection from Victoria.
- Reliability of existing generating units.