Thursday, April 25, 2024

Energy Minister ‘disappointed’ by Eraring Power Station closure

NSW Minister for Energy, Matt Kean, says the state’s energy supply will remain secure after the closure of the Eraring Power Station following the NSW Government’s announcement that it will move to accelerate transmission upgrades and the construction of new electricity generation.

The Minister said ensuring affordable and reliable electricity for NSW energy consumers and supporting jobs were the focus of the NSW Government’s response to Origin Energy’s announcement it will close the Eraring Power Station in 2025.

“I am disappointed by today’s announcement and this is a difficult day for the Lake Macquarie community,” Mr Kean said.

“The planned closure of Eraring is especially tough for its workers, their families and local communities, many of whom have helped power New South Wales for decades and my expectation is that Origin does the right thing by its workers.

“Origin raised the possibility of this closure a number of months ago and, with advice from the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO), we have developed a comprehensive plan to ensure that New South Wales has reliable and affordable electricity.”

He said that to ensure energy reliability, the NSW Government would work with industry partners to install the Waratah Super Battery, a 700MW/1400MWh grid battery, by 2025 to release grid capacity so Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong consumers can access more energy from existing electricity generation.

“NSW has the strongest reliability standard in the country – the Energy Security Target – which aims to have sufficient firm capacity to keep the lights on even if the State’s 2 largest generating units are offline during a one-in-10 year peak demand event,” Mr Kean said.

“Our giant grid battery will act as a shock absorber, so that transmission capacity currently kept in reserve to handle shocks, such as lightning strikes, can be freed up to transfer energy to consumers.

“AEMO has advised that this additional transmission capacity will give the State’s consumers access to enough existing electricity generation to meet the Energy Security Target at the time Eraring closes.”

To keep downward pressure on electricity prices, the NSW Government will also accelerate the delivery of new supply through the NSW Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap (Roadmap), the Minister said.

“The best way to put downward pressure on electricity prices is to increase supply and the Roadmap provides us the tools to do just that.”

“Under the Roadmap, the Consumer Trustee tenders for new renewable generation and storage and we will be investing $84 million to accelerate its delivery.

“We are also establishing a Transmission Acceleration Facility to accelerate the delivery of priority transmission projects and Renewable Energy Zones, which are modern day power stations.

“In addition, we are providing a $47.5 million to accelerate the development of pumped hydro in the State.

“My focus is set squarely on making sure the families and businesses of NSW have the reliable and affordable energy supply they need and that is the purpose of our plan,” Mr Kean said.

For more information please refer to the NSW Government’s Energy website.

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