Stanwell’s power stations help Queensland transition to low carbon energy

28 February 2020

As reported in the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Scheme (NGERS), the total emissions for Stanwell Corporation Limited, one of Queensland’s largest electricity generators, have decreased from 2017/18 to 2018/19.

Stanwell Chief Executive Officer Richard Van Breda said Stanwell generated more than 19,200 GWh in 2018/19, representing approximately one-third of the State’s total energy demand, to ensure a reliable supply of energy was delivered for Queenslanders.

“As Queensland transitions towards lower carbon electricity generation, coal-fired power stations play an essential role in providing the electricity required to meet the State’s needs – particularly at peak times when the sun isn’t shining and wind isn’t blowing,” Mr Van Breda said.

“We’re focused on providing a reliable and secure supply of energy for Queenslanders, while simultaneously applying a continuous improvement approach to our environmental management and performance.”

Mr Van Breda said Stanwell operated two of the most efficient coal-fired power stations in the country including the supercritical Tarong North Power Station in the South Burnett and the subcritical Stanwell Power Station in the Rockhampton region.

“If you compare other generators’ sites by carbon intensity – that is the amount of carbon dioxide produced per megawatt hour – Stanwell’s coal-fired sites performed more efficiently than most other coal-fired power stations around the country,” he said.

In 2018/19 Stanwell’s overall emission reduced, due to increased generation at its lower emission power stations, (Barron Gorge and Kareeya Hydro Power Stations) and decreased generation at its coal-fired power stations. Continued work has also gone into the optimisation of the combustion on the boilers, improving efficiency at both Stanwell and Tarong power stations.

As a result of a restructure of Queensland government energy generation assets, on 31 October 2019, Stanwell’s renewable and low-emission assets, including Barron Gorge Hydro, Kareeya Hydro and Swanbank E Power Station, transferred to CleanCo Queensland. Stanwell therefore now operates a largely coal-fired portfolio. As a result, the business’ emissions intensity will increase during 2019/20.

Stanwell is exploring opportunities to evolve and renew its portfolio to include low emission generation in response to changing market and consumer expectations. This includes investigating co-firing of biomass at its coal-fired power stations to reduce emissions intensity and a feasibility study for a hydrogen demonstration plant.

“We’re committed to working with local businesses, industry, government and our people to identify new opportunities and create future energy solutions that meet the needs of Queenslanders,” Mr Van Breda said.    

“Now and into the future, Stanwell will balance the need to manage emissions, keep energy affordable, and support a reliable and flexible energy system for the State.”

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