Hazelwood Power Station’s Toxic Era Comes to an End

Situated in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, Hazelwood Power Station has been one of the worst carbon-polluting electricity generators in the world for almost 50 years—but now it’s history.

Hazelwood Power Station’s eight generation units were finally shut off as it ceased operations on March 29.

Established somewhere between 1964 and 1971, Hazelwood has since its inception been powered by brown coal which resulted in atrocious levels of carbon emissions alongside carbon dioxide which the plant spewed at the rate of 1,558kg/MWh of power generated (around 15 million tonnes annually). The power plant was blamed for contributing about 3 per cent to Australia’s overall greenhouse gas output.

Is.Hazelwood.Online has also released the plant’s annual pollution payload as follows:

  • 25,000 tonnes of nitrogen oxides
  • 14,000 tonnes of sulfur dioxide
  • 7,700 tonnes of hydrochloric acid
  • 6,900 tonnes of carbon monoxide
  • 4,800 tonnes of fine particulate matter
  • 440 kg of mercury
  • 140 kg of lead
  • 74 kg of arsenic

In the past, Environment Victoria said Hazelwood gobbled 27 billion litres of water each year and was the highest emitter of dioxins nationally. Thankfully, all that is now in the past.

The station’s closure comes with mixed reactions. While environmentalists celebrate on one end, others and especially the affected workers are concerned for obvious reasons.

For Hazelwood, the closure’s writing has been on the wall for nearly two decades, considering the proposal to have it retired was initially made in 2005 but the owners were allowed to continue with operations.

In 2010, a report was published with an outline on how clean and sustainable renewable energy projects could replace Hazelwood by end of 2012. Had the plan been implemented, more jobs than those of Hazelwood would have been created.

Advertisment - Learn more

The plant’s owners announced its closure November last year citing its operations were no longer viable, commercially.

Now that Hazelwood, which represented 20 per cent of all electricity generated in Victoria and 5 per cent of the overall National Electricity Market is finally offline, what becomes of our energy security? Sydney Morning Herald says:

“…the Australian Energy Market Operator [AEMO] said Hazelwood’s closure would be offset by the availability of three mothballed gas-fired stations – one each in South Australia, Tasmania and Queensland – and large industrial businesses agreeing to time-shift their electricity use in the event of an emergency.”

Even though Hazelwood’s shutdown represents the end of a toxic era, the site’s legacy still remains and must be considered even as relevant authorities try to see what to do with the remaining brown coal at the adjacent mine.

The Author

Hi, my name is Erin and I am a journalist, content creator and editor working within the Public Relations department at Australian Solar Quotes. I am passionate about the continuously developing renewable energy industry. I am eager to educate others about the benefits and advancements of sustainable living, and I encourage you to join the conversation by leaving a comment below.

×

vern from Bahgallah, Victoria asked for 3 quotes for solar about 6 hours ago!

MAXINE from Julia Creek, Queensland asked for 3 quotes for solar about 13 hours ago!

Kerrylee from Croydon, Victoria asked for 3 quotes for solar about 16 hours ago!

JOHN from Bluewater, Queensland asked for 3 quotes for solar 2 days ago!

Chris from Lyneham, Australian Capital Territory asked for 3 quotes for solar 3 days ago!

JACKSON kATENE from Browns Plains, Queensland asked for 3 quotes for solar 3 days ago!

Michael from Thuringowa Central, Queensland asked for 3 quotes for solar 3 days ago!

michael from Glencoe, New South Wales asked for 3 quotes for solar 4 days ago!

Kylie from Lammermoor, QLD asked for 3 quotes for solar 4 days ago!

John from Tanah Merah, QLD asked for 3 quotes for solar 4 days ago!

James from Lota, QLD asked for 3 quotes for solar 4 days ago!

Tony from Kensington Grove, QLD asked for 3 quotes for solar 4 days ago!

Michelle from Oak Valley, Queensland asked for 3 quotes for solar 4 days ago!

Tanya from Kingston, Queensland asked for 3 quotes for solar 5 days ago!

Tracey from Mooroolbark, Victoria asked for 3 quotes for solar 5 days ago!

Kris from Dimbulah, Queensland asked for 3 quotes for solar 5 days ago!

Barbara from Bass, Victoria asked for 3 quotes for solar 5 days ago!

GAyle from Point Cook, Victoria asked for 3 quotes for solar 5 days ago!

Sue from Witta, Queensland asked for 3 quotes for solar 5 days ago!

Cj from Toomulla, Queensland asked for 3 quotes for solar 5 days ago!