Synergy to retire Muja Power Station Unit C over five years
Synergy will close two of the four electricity generation units at its Muja Power Station near Collie in a staged approach to support reliable and affordable electricity supplies.
Muja stage C unit 5 will be retired by 1 October 2022 and stage C unit 6 by 1 October 2024, removing 400MW of the 854MW currently generated at the power station.
The decision to retire the Muja C units was announced to the Muja Power Station workforce by the Premier of Western Australia, Hon Mark McGowan, earlier today. Synergy Chief Executive Officer Jason Waters said the decision to retire the units is a further reflection of the changing face of the energy market in the South West Interconnected System (SWIS).
“The generation market is continuing to evolve, introducing greater levels of residential solar power and large-scale renewable generation, and this is displacing the demand for traditional coal-fired baseload power,” Mr Waters said.
“Reducing demand forecasts for baseload generation mean the operation of the two 40-year old units will be uncommercial as they will be operating too infrequently at lower load levels.
Mr Waters said retiring the units in a responsible, staged way over the next five years would ensure reliability of generation supply was maintained and provide Synergy with certainty in working with its Muja workforce to transition for the future.
“Our immediate focus is to ensure we support our employees at Muja and maintain safe and efficient operations until the retirement of the Muja C units and for the ongoing operation of Muja D,” Mr Waters said.
Synergy’s Workforce Transition Program has been developed in conjunction with its workforce and union representatives and has already involved a range of transparent discussions with its workers about the long-term future of thermal generation.
“Coal generation will continue to play a critical role in Synergy’s portfolio of assets for decades to come, but it will be a smaller part of a broader mix of generation technology. With our workforce we are looking past the next five years to what the business needs to look and operate into the 2030s and beyond,” Mr Waters said.
This decision does not impact on the operations of the remaining Muja D units or Synergy’s Collie Power Station.
Electricity consumers in the SWIS, whether they be large-industrial or residential customers, can be assured the decision will not negatively impact Synergy’s supply reliability.
“Synergy’s workers and the broader Collie community can also be assured that Synergy will be operating coalfired generation assets for decades to come,” Mr Waters said.