Eraring Power Station
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Eraring power station is a 2,880-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in New South Wales, Australia.
The map below shows the location of the plant, near Dora Creek, New South Wales.
Background on Plant
Eraring Power Station, owned by Eraring Energy, is one of two coal fired electricity power stations on the shores of Lake Macquarie, in New South Wales, Australia. It originally had four 660 MW steam driven turbine generators, with a total capacity of 2,640 MW of electricity. Along with the Bayswater Power Station in Muswellbrook, the Eraring station is Australia's largest emitter of carbon dioxide.
Eraring Power Station burns 5.2 million tonnes of coal per year, provided by five local mines, and uses salt water from Lake Macquarie for cooling.  The company also states that approximately half the fly ash is "sold for use in the manufacture of concrete and building products and in road base" with the ash handling plant collecting furnace ash "and economiser grits and conveys them as slurry to the ash disposal area."
The generating capacity of each of the four turbines was upgraded from 660 MW to 720 MW between 2011 and 2012.
Nonviolent direct action against Eraring
July 3, 2008: Greenpeace occupies Australia's most polluting coal-fired power plant
At dawn on July 3, 2008, 27 Greenpeace activists entered the Eraring Power Station site to call for an energy revolution take direct action to stop coal from being burnt. Twelve protesters shut down and chained themselves to conveyors while others climbed onto the roof to paint 'Revolution' and unfurled a banner reading 'Energy Revolution - Renewables Not Coal'. The action preceeded the Australian government's climate change advisor Professor Ross Garnaut's delivery of his Draft Climate Change Review on July 4. Police arrested 27..
A September 2017 study by Environmental Justice Australia criticized Eraring's long-standing exemption from the national nitrogen oxide emission standard of 1,500 mg per cubic metre. The study also criticized the absence of air pollution monitoring within 25 km of Eraring and the nearby Vales Point power station. “Hundreds of thousands of people living near Australia’s largest power station do not know what they are breathing," the report states.
Ash pit expansion
In October 2018 Origin Energy obtained approval from the EPA to expand the plant's ash pit, which is located above the abandoned Awaba Colliery, creating a danger of surface water flowing from the ash dam into the mine workings and eventually into nearby tributaries of Dora Creek. In March 2020 Origin was fined A$15,000 for excessive emissions from the ash dam, its third such penalty in three years.
In December 2017 Origin Energy announced that it would close the plant by 2032 as part of a plan to reduce its carbon emissions by 50% by that date. Environmentalists criticized the move as insufficient, and noted that the closure date marked the end of the plant's 50-year life cycle anyway. "Given that Eraring makes up approximately 70 per cent of Origin’s overall emissions, the company is committing to increase its carbon pollution across the rest of the portfolio," noted energy analyst Dan Goucher. In February 2020 it was reported that Origin Energy is considering a "range of scenarios" which could result in the plant's closure earlier than 2032.
Possible conversion to Hydrogen
In August 2019 tests were being conducted by Star Scientific to determine if the plant could be converted to run on a Hydrogen-based system utilising a so-called Hydrogen Energy Release Optimiser, or HERO, catalyst technology.
- Sponsor: Origin Energy Ltd
- Parent company: Origin Energy
- Location: Dora Creek, New South Wales, Australia
- Coordinates: -33.0622305, 151.5213592 (exact)
- Status: Operating
- Gross capacity: 2,880 MW (Units 1-4: 720 MW)
- Type: Subcritical
- In service: 1981-84
- Coal type:
- Coal source:
- Source of financing:
Articles and Resources
- "Climate Camp Hails Greenpeace", Climate Camp Australia website, July 3, 2008.
- Eraring Energy site, accessed November 2008.
- Eraring Energy, "Coal supply", Eraring Energy website, accessed May 2011.
- "Preliminary Project Application" (PDF). Environmental Assessment Scoping Report - Eraring Energy: Eraring Power Station 750 MW Upgrade. Planning NSW. 22 August 2006. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
- Activists protest at Australian power plant, Reuters UK, July 3, 2008.
- Environmental report slams Vales Point and Eraring Power Stations, Coast Community News, 15 Sep 2017.
- Contamination fears rising from the ashes at Eraring Power Station ash dam, New Castle Herald, Oct. 5, 2018
- Martin Scott, Massive increase in toxic emissions at Australian coal power plant, World Socialist Website, Apr. 15, 2020
- Origin aims to halve emissions by 2032, Sydney Morning Herald, Dec. 14, 2017
- Origin Energy says coal plant closure date open to review, Sydney Morning Herald, Feb. 21, 2020
- Hydrogen studies under way at Origin's Eraring coal plant, Australian Financial Review, Aug. 19, 2019
Related SourceWatch Articles
Wikipedia also has an article on Eraring Power Station (Eraring Power Station). This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License].