EnergyAustralia is ready for summer - a time when demand for energy is high, says its Chief Operating Officer, Liz Westcott.
“We’ve invested around $140m in the past year, and our people have put in countless hours, to upgrade and maintain our assets that generate power.
“It’s part of our efforts to ensure they’re ready for the summer months, when power demand peaks,” said Liz.
At its Yallourn power station in Victoria, EnergyAustralia is in the middle of a multi-million-dollar major maintenance program.
“The maintenance outage ensures Yallourn stays operating reliably to keep the air con on for around two million homes, over the coming summer months and beyond.”
EnergyAustralia’s other sites, Victoria’s Newport and Jeeralang power stations, Mt Piper and Tallawarra in New South Wales, and Hallett in South Australia, play a vital role when demand for power is high.
“They’ve all had a pre-summer spruce up with maintenance and reliability works – what we call summer readiness campaigns, taking place at each power station.
“And at the same time we’ve thought about bushfires, and prepared through inspecting assets, reducing fuel and ignition sources and more.”
Liz says its two big Victorian battery storage facilities, at Ballarat and Gannawarra, are ready to go.
“The stand-alone Ballarat terminal station and co-located Gannawarra solar farm battery are able to power around 30,000 homes for an hour of critical peak demand – think a 30 plus day when everyone’s air con is running – before being recharged,” she said.
EnergyAustralia has more than 350,000 households, and some big businesses, signed up to its demand response program.
“We can call on these customers to reduce their electricity usage during peak periods – freeing up capacity on those hot summer days.”
Some EnergyAustralia customers who own solar and batteries have signed up to be part of its Virtual Power Plant.
“This allows us to take control of their battery for an hour or two and discharge stored energy to the grid. This maintains grid stability and can help to avoid power outages.
“We’ve been putting in the effort now to ensure the lights stay on, and perhaps more importantly, the air conditioning, through the hot months ahead,” said Liz.