Another fossil fuel generator mothballed

The 210 MW gas-fired Tamar Valley power station in Tasmania has been mothballed. Is it another victim of low demand?

CORRECTION: Hydro Tasmania has informed Climate Spectator that the Tamar Valley power station has not been 'mothballed' and remains in 'operational readiness'.  The full statement from the company is reprinted below. Climate Spectator had earlier republished a commentary piece from WattClarity reflecting on a report in The Mercury that the power station had been mothballed.  

Tamar Valley Power Station not ‘mothballed’

Hydro Tasmania has rejected media reports suggesting that the Tamar Valley Power Station is effectively no longer being used by the business.

The Tamar Valley Power Station and associated assets were transferred from Aurora Energy to Hydro Tasmania on 1 June this year, as part of the Tasmanian Government’s energy reform process.

The State Government’s intention when transferring the power station to Hydro Tasmania was that it would be optimised within the broader generation portfolio. This optimisation can include not using gas-fired generation when there is ample hydro generation.

“Due to expected winter rains, as well as our current strategy to generate hard to take full advantage of the fixed carbon price period, we made the decision not to run the base load unit of the Tamar Valley Power Station for most of the winter. To have done so would have been both unnecessary and costly,” said Chief Executive Officer Steve Davy.

“However, some of the smaller peaking units have run from time to time.

“This decision was validated further by the weather patterns that emerged over winter, with higher than average inflows.”

As a result, the plan to resume operation of the power station during Spring has been delayed.

“Far from being mothballed, the Tamar Valley Power Station remains in operational readiness. Operation will resume when the current high inflows stop and generation from our hydro plant reduces.”

The longer-term operation of the power station will continue to be optimised within the hydro portfolio.

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