Bayswater maintenance issue to blame for energy consumption warning

The Bayswater Power Station at Muswellbrook is the source of concern that was raised late yesterday afternoon on the supply of energy to the grid.

NSW Energy Minister Matt Kean asked NSW residents to conserve their energy use during the peak last night with fears there wouldn’t be enough energy to keep the lights on.

He said this morning he was informed by the CEO of the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) at 4pm yesterday that a generator they were expecting to come online was not going to.

“I can inform the public that that generator will be coming online tonight so supply conditions will ease. So the outlook at the moment, we’re cautiously optimistic that everything will be fine for the foreseeable future but we are monitoring the situation closely because of the changed weather conditions and the unreliability of our existing kit,” said Matt Kean.

“The Bayswater generator didn’t come online last night, it was expected to come online but there were some issues with maintenance of a conveyor belt that was taking coal into the generator. As I said the market operator was forecasting that generator to come online last night and it didn’t.”

“I’ve spoken to AGL today who told me that generator will come online for this evening’s peak so at this stage we have confidence there is enough reserve capacity in the system to ensure that we don’t have to ask people to conserve their energy use tonight.”

This has been confirmed to Newfm by an AGL spokesperson.

“We are expecting a unit at Bayswater to return to service later today and another by Saturday. We’re continuing to work cooperatively with AEMO to help ensure continuity of supply,” the spokesperson said.

But Matt Kean has warned this won’t be an instant fix.

“Energy supplies will be tight in NSW over the coming days after the AEMO suspended the spot market for wholesale electricity,” he said.

The operator is trying to calm the market down after soaring gas and coal prices combined with power generators not working to capacity led to increasingly expensive electricity.

Energy experts say there shouldn’t be any blackouts but supply will be tight.