June 21, 2022

Key Points 

  • At EnergyAustralia, we are doing all that we can to make our generators available to provide supply into the system as and when needed.
  • EnergyAustralia supports a capacity mechanism that would help combat elevated levels of volatility by stabilising supply, and importantly, energy prices.
  • EnergyAustralia encourages all customers who are facing financial challenges to make contact as there are a range of measures available to support them. 
  • Small business customers in need of support can call 1800 146 749 while residential customers are encouraged to visit our website or to call 133 466.

Statement attributed to Mark Collette, Managing Director at EnergyAustralia:    

“Australia is in the midst of unprecedented energy shock.

“The four key issues affecting electricity supply and prices are the rain that saw coal mines flooded and supply disrupted; generator outages; weather patterns that have meant lower generation of wind and solar; and the war in Ukraine that has seen Australian export prices for coal and gas up over 150 per cent.

“Our gas-fired fleet across Australia, which at this time of year would normally come online to meet a supply shortfall, is running seven times the volume compared with the same period last year. 

“At Mt Piper power station in New South Wales we have two generating units online. The coal-fired plant continues to ensure homes and businesses have the energy they need, especially in the evening peak.

“A persistent challenge we face is that Mt Piper depends on the nearby Springvale mine and our production and deliveries are below expected levels in 2022.

“In Victoria at our Yallourn plant, three generating units are online. Further work is required on a fourth unit which will now return to service late next week.

“One of the online Yallourn units will need to come offline for maintenance soon. We are doing all that we can to sequence this after our offline unit returns.

“We know our customers want net zero energy. They also want their lights kept on and for energy prices to be as low as possible while the transition takes place.

“Australia needs to build the new energy system before the existing generators retire and we support a capacity mechanism which helps deliver this ambition.

“The tight supply conditions in recent weeks show the dangers of not having enough energy and capacity in reserve through the transition.

“A capacity mechanism can help support investment into the firm energy and capacity required to complement variable renewables in Australia’s net zero future.

“The details of the mechanism matter, the way the mechanism interacts with the existing market and planning for coal closures must fit together. EnergyAustralia looks forward to working with the Energy Security Board on the design of the capacity mechanism.” 


EnergyAustralia’s coal-fired assets

The 1430MW Mt Piper power station in New South Wales has two units of 730MW and 700MW respectively. The station was commissioned in stages over 1992 and 1993. A decade ago, there were six local mines capable of supplying Mt Piper. Today, the power station gets most its coal from Springvale mine.

The 1480MW Yallourn power station in Victoria has four generating units and began operations in the 1970s. The site has a history dating back almost a century and is fuelled by the adjacent Yallourn mine, also owned by EnergyAustralia.

Support for customers

EnergyAustralia’s EnergyAssist program means the power won’t be disconnected and debt collection activities won’t be initiated. Residential customers on the program also have access to tailored payment plans, energy audits, information on grant programs and advice on energy usage. 

Through Rapid Business Assist, specialist advisors can discuss ways for EnergyAustralia’s small and medium-sized business customers to lower energy consumption, the government energy relief subsidies available, and options for tailored payment schedules.  

Replacing wheels on a conveyor that transfers coal to the units at Mt Piper power station in New South Wales. 

Inspections and repairs to unit one at Yallourn power station in Victoria.

Our gas-fired Tallwarra power station in New South Wales.