Alinta To Roll Out More Renewables, But Loy Yang B To Burn On – For Decades

Loy Yang B and A coal fired power stations

Loy Yang B (left), Loy Yang A (right) | Image : Marcus Wong (Wongm), CC BY-SA 3.0

Alinta Energy says acquisition of the brown-coal fired Loy Yang B power station in Victoria will enable it to significantly increase the company’s investment in renewable energy assets.

Alinta Energy owner, Hong Kong’s Chow Tai Fook Enterprises (CTFE), finalised acquisition of the power station on Monday.

A 1,000MW facility, the first of Loy Yang B’s two units commenced commercial operations in 1993 and the second unit fired up in 1996. Loy Yang B is the youngest of Victoria’s operating coal-fired clunkers and supplies the equivalent of around 17 per cent of Victoria’s electricity requirements.

Burning brown coal, which has a higher moisture content and lower energy density compared to black coal, Loy Yang B is an emissions intensive power station – even with works approved last year that will see it decreasing emissions by five per cent.

Alinta Energy chief executive Jeff Dimery reportedly said (paywall) he expects Loy Yang B to be viable for the next three decades.

During that time, the station will spew 1,131 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per gigawatt hour of energy produced (minus 5% assuming the upgrades go ahead), plus other toxic emissions.

With regard to the upcoming heatwave, an enemy of coal-fired electricity generation, Mr. Dimery is confident there will be no issues with Loy Yang B1 . The owner of Loy Yang A, AGL, is also confident in that plant’s performance. Loy Yang A has tripped at least six times in recent weeks.

Prior to finalising the acquisition, the combined installed capacity of Alinta’s power stations represented approximately 1,800MW of base load; with assets in Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia and New Zealand.

Silver Lining On A Coal Black (Or Brown) Cloud?

Alinta Energy says with Loy Yang B now in its stable, it will underpin future growth in the number of retail customers acquired. This will enable increased investment in renewables and support a goal of 1,000MW of Alinta-owned and contracted renewable energy based generation by 2020.

“Alinta Energy is committed to meeting its renewable energy vision by 2020 and the new scale of Loy Yang B will accelerate our plans,” said Mr. Dimery.

Alinta Energy says it already has development rights to a significant pipeline of renewable energy projects, including the 300MW Yandin Wind Farm, 150km north of Perth.

Alinta states it also entered into other wind and solar power purchase and off take agreements last year, including a deal that will support the construction of the 130MW Badgingarra Wind Farm in Western Australia.

Footnotes

  1. Update January 19: Loy Yang B’s Unit 1 generator reportedly failed yesterday afternoon, sending electricity spot prices sky-high.
About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.

Comments

  1. Patrick Comerford says:

    Yet another example of why I will have nothing to do with these unethical businesses. With my Rooftop PV and Tesla battery I have finally reduced my electricity bill and grid consumption to a big fat ZERO.

    • Pensioner says:

      Patrick
      Why is Alinta “unethical”?

      Its stated intent is to gain market share by cutting the price it charges for its power. It can do that now it has this power station. How is that “unethical”?

      Is it that in your universe the epithet “unethical” applies to anyone who does not support the crippling of the Australian economy through the abandoning of thermal generation? Are you just a self-righteous greenie?

      Or are you simply incensed that the prospect of lower prices will push even further into the future the date when your system will pay for itself?

      • Ronald Brakels says:

        This is just a guess, but it is possible Patrick is referring to the health costs inflicted by Loy Yang Power Station on Victorians which, according to one estimate, may total over $250 million dollars a year. Alinta does not compensate Victorians in any way for the sickness and death the normal operation of the plant visits upon them.

  2. Ronald Brakels says:

    Increasing solar and wind generation will result in Loy Yang B being driven out of businesses and it won’t take 30 years. The claims of a 30 year lifespan is like someone selling Justin Bieber merchandise insisting that Bieber will remain hot for 30 years and is still hot now.

  3. What is justin beiber?

  4. And, in NSW, the mafia government has apparently approved a new coal mine, in contempt of the people of NSW (and, in contempt of people everywhere in the world – “We will do whatever we can, to poison you, your children, and, your children’s children”, and to destroy the world).

    • You really think that or just goofing off?

      How would you feel about living near Jay Weatherills generators as they chow down on 75,000 litres of diesel per hour? Yet somehow this is apparently preferable to coal powered generation…!

      • Ronald Brakels says:

        Chris, I’m guessing you don’t know much about diesel generation or how it is used. Would you like me to write an article about it or are you happy to look up the information on your own?

        • Aaron Murphy says:

          Please do write an article as I would read it even though I have a pretty good idea how diesel generation is used

        • I already looked up the specs on the GE TM2500 diesel generators, one can see the fuel (and water) consumption and emission figures. As I like turbines nice units BTW, but using imported diesel fuel is a woeful stop gap – both cost and health wise much worse for residents than thermal coal.

          Your reviews are always fun to read of course, the Sonnenbomb was an all time classic!

          • Ronald Brakels says:

            Very good. Now I now what kind of generators were leased. This definitely beats looking up stuff myself. Thank you.

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