AGL extends the life of Liddell and Torrens A

AGL has revised its closure schedule for Liddell power station located in the Upper Hunter region of NSW and Torrens A power station near Adelaide, South Australia. 

AGL has told the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) that it has been able to confirm a schedule that will help the national energy market cope with the critical summer months.

AGL has previously indicated that Liddell would close in 2022, which after 50 years of operation will have reached the end of its technical life.

AEMO was informed that the first unit at Liddell will close in April 2022. However, following an independent engineering assessment, AGL has determined that the remaining three units will close in April 2023, supporting system reliability throughout the 2022-23 summer months.

Torrens A, which is more than 50 years old, was previously scheduled for a mothball of two of the four units by November 2019.

AGL is now seeking permission from the State Government to continue to operate over the upcoming summer, to help mitigate generation impacts across the system following the outage of Unit 2 at Loy Yang A, and to ensure that the Barker Inlet Power Station is operationally stable prior to mothballing these units. 

Under the schedule provided to AEMO, the first two Torrens A units will be closed in September 2020. A third unit will be closed in September 2021 and the final unit in September 2022.

AGL’s new 210MW gas-fired Barker Inlet power station will be operating from November 2019, providing capacity before Torrens A is retired. It is a requirement under AGL’s development approval for the Barker Inlet power station to close all four units at Torrens A in a staged and orderly approach over time.

The Federal Government has welcomed the announcement by AGL.

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reductions, Angus Taylor, said, “I have made it a priority to keep reliable generation in the market. AGL’s announcement is an important step in that direction but there is still a lot more to be done. 

“The Government is focused on the real challenge of ensuring enough reliable affordable generation to meet demand post 2023.”

Minister Taylor said that the Federal Government will continue to work with AGL and the NSW Government to ensure the “disastrous” Hazelwood closure is not repeated.

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