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Synergy to Reduce Generation Capacity by 380 MW

Generating electricity - Muja

Synergy will retire four generation assets in order to meet the terms of the direction handed down last year by the state government to reduce its generation cap to a total of 2275 MW, exclusive of renewable generation facilities.

Synergy CEO Jason Waters said the decision as to how best to comply with the direction was undertaken to reduce costs, ensure there was limited risk to supply security and minimise the impact on staff.

“The business has evaluated the current market conditions and determined which combination of plant retirements represents the best value for the state based on a number of factors including optimal mix of the type of generation required on the South West Interconnected System (SWIS) in the future; how to avoid supply disruptions experienced in other jurisdictions and preserving value in the business,” Mr Waters said.

To coincide with the next capacity cycle, Synergy will not apply to certify four generation assets and will nominate notional retirement dates through to 30 September 2018 to meet the requirements of the direction which will take effect on 1 October 2018.

The assets designated for retirement from the electricity market are:

  •  Kwinana gas turbine unit 1 (21 MW) to retire on 30 September 2018 (notional);
  •  Mungarra gas turbine units 1, 2 & 3 (113 MW) to retire on 30 September 2018 (notional);
  •  West Kalgoorlie gas turbine units 2 and 3 (62 MW) on 30 September 2018 (notional); and
  •  Muja AB units 1 to 4 (240 MW). Two units will be retired on 30 September 2017 (notional) and the remaining two units will likely be retired in April 2018 (notional).

 Mr Waters said the retirement of the generation assets will not compromise security of supply in the SWIS.“The electricity market in Western Australia has undergone significant change over the past 10 years characterised by decreasing demand for baseload generation driven by the proliferation of rooftop solar and greater levels of energy efficiency within the home,” he said. 

“Significant levels of reserve capacity will remain in the market and Synergy has worked closely with Western Power in determining our planned retirement schedule to ensure network security issues are considered.

“The retirement of the four assets will impact approximately 24 positions across the generation arm of the business. Five of those positions are currently vacant and we expect to be able to account for 19 positions through a voluntary redundancy program over the coming 18 months.” 

Other Synergy generating units at Muja Power Station and other Synergy sites will remain in operation in accordance with requirements.

Manager Public Affairs and Corporate Communications Doug White 0439 904 770

Facts about Synergy's retiring generation plant

Muja Power Station Units A and B (240MW)

Muja Power Station units A and B were officially opened 51 years ago in 1966. Muja AB is part of a base-load, coal-fired facility located 22 kilometres east of Collie.

Mungarra Gas Turbine Units 1, 2, & 3 (112MW)

The three gas turbines of the Mungarra Gas Turbine Power Station are 28 years old and were commissioned between 1989 and 1991. The power station is operated remotely from system control and uses gas from the Dampier to Bunbury Natural Gas Pipeline. The power station is located 50km south-east of Geraldton.

West Kalgoorlie Gas Turbine Units 1 & 2 (62MW)

West Kalgoorlie Power Station has been operating since 1984 and is located on the western outskirts of Kalgoorlie.
The 33 year old power station provides back-up to Western Power’s 220kV transition line and is run during peak demand and emergencies.

Kwinana Gas Turbine Unit 1 (21 MW)

The 45 year old Kwinana gas turbine 1 was commissioned in 1972 as part of the Kwinana power station development (the Kwinana power station has since been decommissioned).

Its primary purpose is to provide a system restart service and emergency supply.