Is coal as reliable as we think?

A number of coal plant outages across the country have left heatwave-stricken homes without power

Pile of coal

A number of coal-fired power plant outages across Australia have left thousands of heatwave-stricken homes without power.

Yallourn Power Station in Victoria became the third electricity generator to be shut down last night ahead of temperature predictions of 44°C today.

About 5,800 properties lost power, leaving them without air conditioning.

A spokesman for the State Control Centre said the cause of the outages was under investigation.

Victorian Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio told Australian news publication 3AW that three coal-fired units across the state had experienced outages.

She added: “This means we can’t rule out brownouts. We have ageing coal-fired power stations. They are becoming less reliable.”

She urged households across the region to ration non-essential electricity use, such as turning off dishwashers, washing machines and swimming pool pumps.

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