AGL has announced that the Bayswater and Loy Yang A power stations in NSW and Victoria would be closed sooner than initially planned.
For decades, these power plants have been essential providers of reliable generation and regional jobs.
The announcement is providing around eight to eleven years notice for Bayswater, and more for Loy Yang A.
Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction said the early closure of these two generators – 2030-33 from 2035 for Bayswater and 2040-2045 from 2048 for Loy Yang A – would leave a considerable gap of close to 5000 MW of reliable generation in the National Electricity Market.
“While this announcement is a commercial decision and AGL has complied with the minimum 3.5-year notice period, the exit of such a considerable amount of reliable generation is a concern for the continued reliability and affordability of the system,” the Minister noted.
“Delivery of new, timely, replacement dispatchable capacity will be critical in keeping prices low and the lights on.
“We have seen what happens when this does not occur, with prices skyrocketing by 85 per cent following the premature closure of the Hazelwood Power Station in 2017.”
The Minister also called on AGL to “commence engagement with workers and local communities now to put plans in place for the future”, adding that Government would closely monitor and model the impact of these closures.