Renewable energy lag may keep Eraring open

Australia’s energy market operator has issued a rare update to its warnings about electricity supplies as pressure continues to keep Lake Macquarie’s Eraring power station open.

The watchdog says Eraring, the nation’s biggest coal-fired power station, may need to delay its closure to ease blackout threats in NSW, while other eastern states also face “periods of high risk” because of the slow rollout of renewables.

The report says NSW has faced regular “lack of reserve” alerts on the grid because of relatively cloudy or calm days and unplanned coal outages.

The latter included at least one of Eraring’s four units for more than a fortnight.