Stanwell is one of the most reliable energy providers in the National Electricity Market

7 September 2020

Stanwell is one of the most reliable energy providers in the National Electricity Market, with assets operating at 94.4 per cent reliability during the 2019/20 year (95.5 per cent in 2018/19).

The information presented in The Australia Institute’s discussion paper released on 7 September 2020 is factually inaccurate. This is not the first time inaccurate “breakdown” data has been presented in its reports.

The Australia Institute bases its claims on its own measure of total breakdowns, divided by the gigawatt capacity of each power station. In its report, it counts every instance of a power station going offline as a “breakdown”. This is not an accurate measure of reliability.

Stanwell contacted The Australia Institute in February 2020 and drew these issues to its attention.

In reality, a number of the “breakdowns” attributed to Stanwell were controlled test activities for the commissioning of a new control system at Stanwell Power Station. When the new control system was installed, a series of planned, controlled tests were undertaken resulting in the stopping of the generator to confirm the system would operate safely and reliably.

Other “breakdown” events reported were controlled tests, performed in conjunction with the Australian Energy Market Operator to demonstrate Stanwell’s capability to quickly and safely respond in the event of the system “going black”. These tests aim to demonstrate the grid’s capability and ensure Stanwell can continue to deliver the energy the market needs.

Stanwell puts considerable planning and effort into the reliability of its plant, and our people are proud of the results we achieve.

Stanwell has implemented a program of major capital investment to ensure reliability as the market transitions to a renewable energy future.

Stanwell invested more than $164.9 million in its assets during 2019/20, to improve efficiency and maintain performance.

During 2019/20, Stanwell continued testing and improving the flexibility of its coal-fired plant to ramp up and down to meet changing daily energy demand patterns as an increasing proportion of variable renewable energy enters the market.