December 11 (Renewables Now) - AGL Energy Ltd (ASX:AGL) this weekend said it would close its Liddell coal power plant in New South Wales and replace it with 1.6 GW of renewables, some battery storage, gas peakers and other capacities.
The Australian utility intends to shut down the Liddell station in 2022 based on estimates that the replacement plan would pin the cost at AUD 83 (USD 62.3/EUR 53) per MWh, while it would be AUD 106 per MWh in case the life of the Liddell plant is extended. According to an independent analysis, AGL will have to invest nearly AUD 920 million to keep the coal power facility up and running until 2027.
AGL intends to adopt a staged approach for replacing the Liddell capacity, investing around AUD 1.36 billion in the project. The retired power plant, meanwhile, will be repurposed to support the alternative generation plan post 2022.
To support the replacement plan, the utility already has 653 MW of approved wind projects, at a cost of AUD 62 per MWh. The table shows details on the other capacities needed.
|Stage||Actions||Capacity in MW|
|Stage 1||Bayswater upgrade||100|
|Stage 1||Solar offtake deals||300|
|Stage 1||Synchronous condenser Liddell||N/A|
|Stage 1||Demand response||up to 20|
|Stage 1||Newcastle gas peaker||250|
|Stage 2||NSW gas peaker||500|
|Stage 2||Demand response||50|
|Stage 3||Liddell battery||250|
|Stage 3||Demand response||up to 30|
“This plan demonstrates that old power plants can be replaced with a mixture of new, cleaner technology, while improving reliability and affordability,” said AGL’s chairman Graeme Hunt.
The utility noted that the portfolio to replace Liddell will help it lower its carbon footprint by 17.6%.
(AUD 1.0 = USD 0.751/EUR 0.638)