Playford power station

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The Playford Power Station (also referred to as the Playford B Power Station or the Thomas Playford Power Station) is located in Port Augusta, South Australia.

Commissioned in 1963, Playford was co-located with the larger, newer Northern Augusta power station, which together are known as the Port Augusta Power Stations.

Playford B was mothballed in 2012 and its permanent closure was announced by operator Alinta Energy for May 2016. Prior to being mothballed it primarily operated in the summer, when electricity demand peaks.[1] It was retired in 2016.[2]


The map below shows the plant in Port Augusta, South Australia.

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The power station, which is owned by Alinta Energy, is coal powered with four 60 megawatt (MW) units, for a total installed capacity of 240 MW of electricity. The sole supply of coal for the Playford Power Station is from the Leigh Creek mine, 250 kilometres to the north.[3]

Fading away

Alinta Energy, which bought the power station in 2006, describes it as being an "intermediate" supplier to the power grid. "Playford typically operates during the summer period when demand for electricity is greatest," the company states on its website.[3] However, the plant -- which as of early 2013 is not currently operating -- has an uncertain future. Alinta nominated the plant as a possible contender to be closed under the federal government's Contract for Closure Program. However the program was abandoned. (See below for details.)

The Australian Energy Market Operator reports that the level of utilisation of the plant in recent years has slumped from over 48% in 2009/2010 to just over 15% in 2010/11 and just over 13% in 2011/12.[4] AEMO also reports that Alinta has advised it that "until further advised" the Playford power station "will only be available after a recall time of 70 days."[5]

Playford B was mothballed in 2012.[1]


On 11 June 2015, Alinta Energy announced its intent to permanently close the power station by March 2018, along with the related Northern Power Station, and the Leigh Creek coal mine that supplies them both with fuel.[6] This was updated on 30 July 2015 to bring the closure dates of all three facilities forward by 12 months, with closure to occur between March 2016 and March 2017.[7]

On 7 October 2015, Alinta Energy announced that Northern and Playford B would close around 31 March 2016.[8] In January 2016, Alinta announced that the closure date had been set back to 8 May 2016.[9] Demolition of both stations and site remediation work is expected to take 18 to 24 months to complete.[10]

Greenhouse gas emissions

Carbon Monitoring for Action estimated this power station emits 1.77 million tonnes of greenhouse gases each year as a result of burning coal.[11]

Contract for Closure Program

As a part of the carbon tax package the federal government undertook to negotiate with power generators to enter into contracts to shut down 2,000 megawatts of capacity by 2020 from the dirtiest power stations in Australia. Following the announcement Alinta indicated that it was interested in negotiating with the federal government to close the Playford power station. The contracts are scheduled to be completed before June 2012.[12]

In early 2012 Alinta expressed interest in negotiating a compensation package to shut the Playford power station as a part of the federal government's Contract for Closure Program.[13] However, in September 2012 the federal government abandoned the program without reaching agreement to close any of the most greenhouse gas polluting plants.[14] Alinta stated that "whilst not currently operating" the Playford plant "remains available for recall subject to market conditions including the impacts of carbon pricing."[15]

Early in 2012 Alinta stated that "the Playford Power Station will remain available for operation throughout the year, and will be operated in circumstances where it’s economic to do so, including during summer to support the Northern power station."[16]

Handout from carbon tax package

Alinta Energy received $59,482,064.73 of the $1 billion cash payments given out in 2011/12[17] to the operators of the most polluting coal-fired power stations. The cash was paid from the Energy Security Fund which was established as a part of the carbon tax legislation passed in 2011.[18][19] Alinta sought the payment for the "Augusta power stations" inferring it was for both the Northern Power Station and the Playford power station.

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 "Flinders". Alinta Energy. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  2. "Last coal-fired power generator in South Australia switched off," Renew Economy, May 9, 2016
  3. 3.0 3.1 Alinta Energy, "Flinders", Alinat Energy website, accessed December 2010.
  4. Australian Energy Market Operator, "2012 South Australian Electricity Report", August 2012, page 17.
  5. Australian Energy Market Operator, "2012 South Australian Electricity Report", August 2012, page 22.
  6. "Alinta Energy to close power stations at Port Augusta and coal mine at Leigh Creek". ABC Online. 2015-06-11. Retrieved 2015-06-11.
  7. "Latest Electricity and Natural Gas News | Alinta Energy". Retrieved 2015-12-27.
  8. "Flinders Operations Update | Alinta Energy". Retrieved 2015-12-27.
  9. "Alinta extends Port Augusta power station closure deadline - InDaily". InDaily. Retrieved 2016-01-22.
  10. "Alinta Energy announces demolition plans for Port Augusta power stations". ABC News. Retrieved 2016-01-16.
  11. "Thomas Playford, Carbon Monitoring for Action, accessed December 2010.
  12. Paul Osborne, "Dirty power sale contract due by June 2012", Sydney Morning Herald, AAP, August 18, 2011.
  13. Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism, "Contract for Closure", Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism website, accessed June 2012.
  14. "Contract for Closure negotiations cease", Media Release, September 5, 2012.
  15. Alinta Energy, "Contract for Closure", Media Release, September 9, 2012.
  16. Alinta Energy, "Alinta Energy clarifies market reports", Media Release, April 20, 2012.
  17. Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency,"Generation complexes eligible to receive Energy Security Fund cash payments", Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency website, July 9, 2012.
  18. Australian Government, "An overview of the Clean Energy Legislative Package", Clean Energy Future website, accessed January 2013.
  19. Energy Security Council, "About the Council", Energy Security Council website, accessed January 2013.

Related articles

External resources

External articles

Wikipedia also has an article on Playford power station. This article may use content from the Wikipedia article under the terms of the GFDL.