Origin Energy has notified the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) that the return to service date of the Mortlake Power Station generating unit has been delayed until 30 December 2019, heightening the risk of energy shortages in Victoria during the crucial Christmas period.
Origin noted that the impacted unit represents less than 3 per cent of Victoria’s total installed generation capacity, however AEMO’s Summer 2019-20 Readiness Plan outlined the risks associated with delays to its repair.
“The risk of unserved energy in Victoria is more acute if there is any delay in the planned return to service of the units of Loy Yang A (Unit 2) and Mortlake Power Station (Unit 2), which are currently on long-term outages,” it said.
The Report also stated there was an “increased risk of early season extreme heat and risk of short but sharp heatwaves” in southern Australia.
Origin’s Executive General Manager Energy Supply and Operations, Greg Jarvis, said, “We’ve had crews working around the clock to return the damaged Mortlake power station generating unit to service.
“Unfortunately, inclement weather and delays in securing specialist commissioning technicians have impacted our schedule.
“We now expect to return the impacted Mortlake unit to service on Monday, 30 December 2019, in advance of the traditional peak summer electricity consumption period.”
The gas-fired plant’s generator has not been operational since it was damaged by an explosion caused by an electrical fault on 8 July 2019.