Real-time data enables the Tarong power stations to more accurately monitor and report emissions

31 March 2021

The Tarong power stations, located in the South Burnett, are using real-time data (known as continuous emissions monitoring system or CEMS data) to more accurately monitor and report emissions, and optimise their operations.

Previously, Stanwell had used generic emissions factors to report its emissions at the Tarong power stations, as permitted under the National Pollutant Inventory (NPI) guidelines.

Tarong power stations Site Manager, Wayne Martyn, said Stanwell had used real-time data to report particulate matter emissions for the 2019/20 NPI report after extensive testing and validation of the data.

“Year-on-year, the site’s actual emissions have remained relatively unchanged, in line with the amount of electricity our power stations have generated. What has changed is the methodology we use to report the emissions,” Mr Martyn said.

“We have made the voluntary move to using a world-class continuous emissions monitoring system which allows us to measure emissions from the power station’s stack using real-time data.

“This was a significant investment and through this data we are able to more accurately understand our emissions, and adjust and optimise our operations in real-time.”

The sulphur oxide (SOx) and nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions levels reported in the National Pollutant Inventory for Tarong Power Station increased between 2018/19 and 2019/20. This increase was the result of improved measurement accuracy by using CEMS, not an increase in actual emissions.

Particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10), decreased during the year at Tarong Power Station.

Mr Martyn said as Queensland transitioned towards lower carbon electricity generation, large coal-fired power stations like Tarong would continue to play an essential role in providing the electricity required to meet the State’s needs.

“We’re focused on providing a reliable, secure supply of energy for Queenslanders,” Mr Martyn said.

“Our goal is to implement initiatives that safeguard the wellbeing of the environment and neighbouring communities.

“We use electrostatic precipitators at Tarong Power Station to capture particulates, and conduct comprehensive air quality, surface water and groundwater monitoring, to minimise our impact on the surrounding environment.”

Stanwell is transforming and renewing its portfolio in response to changing market and consumer expectations, and to support Queensland’s transition to a lower carbon future. Stanwell is investigating opportunities to transition its portfolio by incorporating technologies such as hydrogen, energy storage, wind, solar and bioenergy.

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