Stanwell says its coal plant is key to low carbon future

Stanwell Power Station plays an important role in helping the market transition to lower carbon energy, according to the plant’s manager.

Acting Stanwell Power Station site manager Angie Zahra said the power station provides a reliable and flexible supply of electricity, which is needed to support ongoing growth in renewable energy.

“The falling cost of new renewable energy means it will continue to be introduced into the market,” Ms Zahra said.

“Our role at Stanwell Power Station is to make sure energy remains affordable and reliable.

“Stanwell Power Station is one of the most efficient coal-fired power stations in Australia, with an emissions intensity below the industry average.”

In 2017/18, Stanwell Power Station generated more than 8100GWh of electricity (equivalent to 15 per cent of Queensland’s annual demand), underpinning the reliability of electricity supply to consumers.

It was also one of the best performing power stations in the country, with an availability of 93.9 per cent, compared to an average of 84.6 per cent across other generators in the National Electricity Market.

Ms Zahra said the 300 local employees and contractors at the power station were working hard to keep electricity reliable and affordable.

“We recognise we need to do this in a responsible way which balances the needs of the environment and our community,” she said.

“That is why we have made significant investments at Stanwell Power Station that have seen us proactively improve our environmental performance and capabilities beyond what we are required to do under the letter of the law.

“The power station uses electrostatic precipitators which are 99 per cent effective in capturing particulate emissions.

“This means our particulate emissions are well within our Environmental Authority limits.

“All generation units at the power station have low NOx burners which are designed to significantly reduce emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx).”

The power station has invested in improving operational efficiencies by upgrading its turbines, so less coal is burned to produce the same amount of electricity.

“We have invested in an advanced control system at Stanwell Power Station which allows us to closely monitor every aspect of the power station’s performance,” she said.

“Our sophisticated Continuous Emissions Monitoring System monitors NOx, SO2 and particulate emissions in real time and this data is used to optimise the process and ensure emissions are well below regulatory limits.

“We use mist sprays on our coal conveyor system to reduce dust.

“We conduct comprehensive and regular air quality, surface water and groundwater monitoring to ensure our operations are not negatively impacting the environment, neighbours or the surrounding community.”