In a move to secure Victoria’s energy system, the Australian Government will safeguard Alcoa’s Portland aluminium smelter’s continued delivery of emergency power reserves to the market.
The Portland facility is a major user of electricity, representing around 10% of Victoria’s electricity demand. To ease pressure on the grid, particularly on hot days, Portland can reduce its demand. Doing so has helped avoid blackouts in Victoria.
The Australian Government announced on 19 March 2021 that it will provide up to $76.8 million over four years from 2021-22 to 2024-25 to secure Portland’s participation in the Reliability and Emergency Reserve Trader (RERT) scheme.
The Hon Angus Taylor MP, Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, said the government is focused on maintaining the reliability and security of the electricity system.
’The Portland smelter is Victoria’s largest energy consumer, and provides unique and valuable energy services to the grid,' the Minister said. 'Securing its ongoing role will help Victoria keep the lights on during times of high demand, such as days of extremely hot weather and help Portland to be appropriately compensated for the grid services it provides.’
AEMO and AusNet also have an obligation to ensure Portland is able to continue to provide these energy services to the grid to deliver affordable, reliable power for consumers.
Prime Minister’s media release 19 March 2021
Ministerial media release 14 December 2020