In a move to secure Victoria’s energy system, the Australian Government will safeguard the 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 will provide Portland with a guaranteed Reliability and Emergency Reserve Trader (RERT) revenue of up to $76.8 million over 4 years to 2024-25, subject to negotiation.
In return for government underwriting, Portland will be required to participate in the RERT to the maximum extent possible.
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 aluminium smelter provides unique and valuable energy services and emergency reserves to the grid, particularly over summer,’ the Minister said. ‘It is 3 times larger than the largest battery in Australia and has been vital to avoiding blackouts in previous summers.’
Minister Taylor added that the government’s underwriting is not a silver bullet. ‘We need more dispatchable generation in the system, and we need mechanisms to keep providers of valuable system services participating in the energy market.’
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.
For more information, see the Minister’s media release.