The New South Wales parliament has passed legislation to secure the Mt Piper Power Station, and help ease pressure on electricity prices.
The Environmental Planning & Assessment Amendment (Sydney Drinking Water Catchment) Bill 2017 will secure the immediate future of the Springvale coal mine, the only source of supply for Mt Piper.
EnergyAustralia welcomed the legislation which, if not addressed, would have threatened the reliability and affordability of electricity in the state.
EnergyAustralia Executive – Energy, Mark Collette, said,“This is what good policy and real political leadership looks like.
“It delivers great results: secure energy supply for families and businesses and a better outcome for the environment.
“Now we’re no longer subject to coal rationing our next job is to roll up our sleeves and return Mt Piper to full service in time for peak summer demand.”
The 1400MW Mt Piper Power Station can supply up to 15 per cent of New South Wales’ electricity demand and is critical to energy system reliability, especially during peak periods over summer.
In August 2017, the New South Wales Court of Appeal upheld an appeal against the planning consent for the Springvale mine. The action related to the quality of water discharged to local waterways from the mine.
Mr Collette said EnergyAustralia and Centennial Coal can now progress to construction of an over $100 million water treatment plant. The plant will be fully operational by mid-2019.
“The water treatment project will mean there’s no discharge from the mine into river systems, which is a good outcome,” Mr Collette said.
Mt Piper is already a zero-discharge site. The water treatment plant also ensures Mt Piper will no longer require water from local catchments for the power station’s operations.