Vales Point Power Station

Delta Electricity has advised the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) of a 2033 technical life assessment for the Vales Point Power Station, to determine whether or not the station should be kept running for an additional four years past its initial closure date. 

The purpose of this assessment is to provide the Electricity Statement of Opportunities (ESOO) with a condition assessment of the existing generation equipment, ash dam capacity and general condition of the facility. 

The previous ESOO closure date was 2029, which was based on a nominal 50-year asset life. As the 2029 date draws closer, Delta has been able to estimate plant technical capabilities with a greater level of accuracy. 

Delta said the Vales Point Power Station continues to be a key asset in the transitioning energy market by providing essential firming capacity to support the growing integration of renewable energy and ensuring a reliable and secure source of electricity. Currently the Vales Point Power Station generates approximately ten per cent of New South Wales electricity needs. 

Delta noted the delays being experienced by new generation and transmission projects, along with earlier closure dates being announced by owners of other coal fired generators. Given the uncertainties surrounding the capacity of electricity resources over the next ten years and the urgent need to maintain system security throughout this period, Delta considered it a responsible step to advise AEMO of the availability of Vales Point Power Station’s capacity. 

The Interim Chief Executive of Delta Electricity, David Morris, said that Vales Point has benefited from a detailed and rigorous maintenance regime throughout its life. 

“This has included major outages every four years on each unit to replace critical plant elements, implementing capital upgrades and conducting extensive maintenance,” Mr Morris said. 

“The plant continues to provide high levels of availability to the system and is expected to continue to do so through to 2033.” 

Delta has acknowledged the skill and commitment its workforce has towards the operation, maintenance and asset management of the Vales Point Power Station. This dedication has provided the optionality whereby Delta has the potential to contribute to the longer-term stability of the National Energy Market. 

The ESOO announcement is specific to a technical assessment of the Vales Point Power Station and does not denote a commercial commitment to operate the facility, noting that a 42-month closure notification period applies for commercial obligations. 

“The energy system is in transformation, and this brings higher levels of uncertainty when forecasting market conditions for the longer term,” Mr Morris said. 

“Broader engagement with major stakeholders regarding system and market requirements will be required before firm commercial commitments can be made.”

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