AGL reveals plan for Liddell power station closure

AGL's Liddell Power Station
AGL's Liddell Power Station

A combination of new renewable projects, gas-fired power plants and the use of battery storage is part of AGL Energy’s plan to replace the Liddell power station.

At the company’s 2017 AGM last week, AGL CEO Andy Vesey revealed some of the alternative options to mitigate the impact of the 2022 retirement of the coal-fired power station.

Mr Vesey said the company had been assessing options to replace the power station since its closure was announced in April 2015.

“We are designing our plan to mitigate the market impact of Liddell’s closure,” he said.

“It will address the 8 terawatt hours a year of energy that Liddell provides and the 1000MW reserve capacity shortfall AEMO has highlighted.”

Mr Vesey said the bulk of the energy needed to match Liddell’s output could come from new renewable energy projects, such as AGL’s Coopers Gap wind farm and Silverton wind farm, which are both currently under construction.

“We can provide the 1000MW of capacity needed through a combination of upgrades to the Bayswater power station that adjoins Liddell, construction of new high-efficiency gas-fired power plants and development of battery and demand response solutions,” Mr Vesey said.

“We see batteries at Liddell, as well as demand response solutions, providing up to a further 150MW of firm capacity.

“Through our planned maintenance program, we will be able to upgrade Bayswater to add around 100MW of efficient capacity at the site.”

Upgrades to Bayswater can begin as early as 2019.

Mr Vesey said the construction of new high-efficiency gas plants could add up to 750MW of new capacity.

“Gas development again at Liddell would take advantage of existing infrastructure as well as the connections to the electricity grid,” he said.

“Highly efficient, flexible gas plant can be quick to develop and, given its modular design, installed in stages.

“We believe initial capacity would begin to be constructed from 2019 and up to 750 megawatts would be in place at various sites by the time of Liddell’s announced closure.”

Mr Vesey said there was more work to do before AGL presents its final plans to the federal government and AEMO.