October 25, 2006 06:03pm
Article from: AAP

QUEENSLAND could face electricity shortages by mid-2009 if no extra power stations are brought on line or existing ones expanded, according to a new report.

The National Electricity Market Management Company (NEMMCO) today released its outlook on when demand may overstretch supply.

The report showed Queensland had enough power generation capacity to get through the coming summer, even if it is extremely hot.

But there is a question mark over the future.

"If no additional capacity is made available to the market, the point in time when reliability could be expected to fall below the reliability standard is the summer of 2009/10 in Queensland,'' the report said.

Energy Minister Geoff Wilson said Queensland had ample generating capacity to meet its electricity demand now and well into the future.

"Queensland has already taken action to meet the expected growth,'' Mr Wilson said.

He said the 450 megawatt Braemar power station near Dalby was opened by Premier Peter Beattie in August this year, and he expected the 750 megawatt Kogan Creek power station near Chinchilla to start operations late next year.

"That's a lot of extra supply for Queensland,'' Mr Wilson said.

"Our current capacity is around 10,900 megawatts compared to a maximum demand in February this year of 8,295 megawatts.''

New projects in the pipeline included the 1000 megawatt Spring Gully proposal by Origin Energy and the Australian Gas Light company's 370 megawatt proposal near Townsville - which were not included in NEMMCO's assessment.