Hazelwood coal power station to close 31 March 2017

Source: The Guardian, 3 November 2016

Up to 1,000 jobs are to go after staff at Hazelwood power plant in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley were told in a meeting on Thursday that the coal-fired station will close on 31 March.

The announcement ends months of speculation that the plant’s main owner, French utility Engie, intended to close the plant as part of a move away from coal-fire power.

The 1,600-megawatt Hazelwood plant opened in 1971 and provides almost a quarter of Victoria’s baseload electricity needs. A Frontier Economics report published in May predicted that closing Hazelwood would lead to electricity price rises of up to 25% in the immediate aftermath.

But Victoria’s energy minister, Lily D’Ambrosio, said separate modelling done for the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning had found that household energy bills may rise only 4% cent, or less than $1 per week.

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