Statement on Eraring power station

Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources

Origin has announced it is bringing forward the closure of the Eraring Power Station in NSW from 2030-32 to mid-2025.

This announcement is a commercial decision and Origin has chosen to provide the minimum 3.5-years’ notice.

This decision is bitterly disappointing for all energy users – from households to small businesses to heavy industry – who rely on affordable, reliable energy to prosper.

It is also bitterly disappointing for the 400 workers and communities in the Lake Macquarie region.

The Government expects Origin to deliver on its commitment to do everything it can to support workers and the local community through this challenging period.

The early and sudden closure of this 2880 MW generator will leave a considerable gap in reliable generation in the National Electricity Market, representing more than 20 per cent of NSW generation output.

This risks higher prices, like the 85 per cent increase we saw after the closure of the Hazelwood Power Station, and a less reliable grid.

The Morrison Government has been consistent and clear. On-demand reliable power such as coal, gas and pumped-hydro is needed to balance the record levels of intermittent forms of energy such as wind and solar.

Dispatchable, on-demand capacity is critical to keep prices low and the grid reliable.

Closure without like-for-like replacement puts affordability and reliability at risk.

It is incumbent on energy companies to step up and deliver like-for-like replacement capacity. They owe this to their customers as providers of an essential service.

With only short window until closure, energy companies need to back their announcements and make clear commitments to replacement projects by June 2023.

The Morrison Government has a strong track record of dealing with these issues. We will work with the NSW State Government and private sector to make sure there is appropriate replacement.

Today’s announcement means projects like the Hunter Power Project are even more important than they already were.

Labor has shown they cannot be trusted to manage the energy grid.

Anthony Albanese has no grasp on the fundamentals of energy policy in Australia, and wilfully disregards the importance of dispatchable generation at every opportunity.

Labor’s approach to energy ignores the risk of early coal closures. Labor’s modelling is built upon the assumption no coal-fired generator retirements will be brought forward. [ALP Powering Australia, page 14]

Labor’s claim they will deliver lower energy prices is now completely debunked.

Labor has no plan for large-scale dispatchable generation.

Labor has opposed the $1 billion Grid Reliability Fund, opposed the Kurri Kurri gas generator and only yesterday said they’d vote to disallow the Underwriting New Generation Investments program which was based on an ACCC recommendation to get more on-demand, reliable generation into the energy market.

The Morrison Government is taking decisive action to deliver affordable, reliable energy for Australia consumers.
• We are building the landmark 2000 megawatt Snowy 2.0
• We are stepping up to deliver the 660 megawatt Hunter Power Project gas generator at Kurri Kurri to replace Liddell
• We are supporting Energy Australia’s Tallawarra B gas generator
• We are helping the Port Kembla gas generator reach final investment decision
• We are investing over $500 million to support major priority transmission projects like Project Energy Connect, VNI West and Marinus Link.

Under our watch, electricity costs have fallen to their lowest level in eight years.

A Morrison Government will continue to put the interests, and hip pockets, of Australian families and businesses first.

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