Remarkable information in the Hunter Business Chamber submission to the NSW Inquiry into the future of RE in New South Wales.
Tomago provides critical energy security to NSW and the National Energy Market (NEM) because it has the largest interruptible load in the NEM. It can reduce load by as much as 630MW in as little as five minutes to ensure blackouts are averted when there is a system security risk. By way of comparison, the next largest interruptible load in NSW is 50MW. The grid cannot currently operate without the fallback option of being able to request that big industry users power down. Tomago Aluminium remains reliant on electricity from thermal sources because renewable energy is too expensive to be commercially viable for the industry and does not guarantee the required reliability.
Tomago Aluminium, located near Newcastle, uses more than 10% of the state’s power supply. Currently, near 9 in the evening, the statewide demand is 8.3GW. 10% is 830MW and NSW wind production at the moment is 460MW. That is 30% of the installed capacity that is almost precisely the average supply.
It would be interesting to have a complete record of the curtailment instructions from the AEMO to the high-end power users to provide the “Emergency Supply” that is called up to avert widespread blackouts. That figure for Tomago is the only number I have seen, can well-informed Cats please help!
The full submission from the Hunter Business Chamber. There are some entertaining plans for RE projects including the replacements for Liddell!
AGL has committed to retire the coal-fired Hunter Valley plant in April 2023. Liddell can deliver almost 1.8GW, enough electricity to power 1 million homes and the Australian Energy Market Operator identified an 850MW gap in dispatchable power when Liddell closes.
AGL has developed the NSW Generation Plan, a program of alternative energy initiatives, including investments in new low-emissions technologies, to replace Liddell.
AGL plans to replace Liddell with the following:
o The Newcastle Power Project – a 250MW gas-fired power station in Newcastle (see details below);
o A second gas-fired power station in NSW of 500MW capacity;
o 1,600MW of renewables, including solar power;
o Up to 150MW of demand response;
o The 250MW “Liddell Battery”;
o Converting generators at Liddell to synchronous condensers;
o 100MW upgrade to Bayswater Power Station;
o Possible pumped hydro project.
Watch that space!