AGL forges ahead of Morrison government on Liddell coal plant shutdown

Australia’s largest energy generator, AGL, has announced the first concrete steps in shutting down its Liddell coal-fired power station in the NSW Hunter Valley, pre-empting the findings of a government taskforce examining options including extending the plant’s operating life.

Planning documents lodged last week with the NSW government reveal AGL is planning to “decouple” Liddell from another coal station at Bayswater. It will remove transmission lines between the two so Bayswater can function as a standalone plant.

In 2015, AGL announced plans to shut Liddell which together with Bayswater supplies 35 per cent of NSW’s energy demand. It originally intended to shut the plant in 2022, but extended its operation until 2023 after pressure from the federal government.

The Morrison government commissioned a taskforce, including NSW government representatives, which is considering options including how to extend Liddell’s operating life or replace it with “like-for-like” capacity.

AGL lodged plans last week to build 500 megawatts of batteries storage at Liddell and it has plans double that volume across the country.

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