Hunter Valley businesses say they don’t want Coalition’s gas plant

Hunter Valley clean energy businesses say there is no need for the federal Coalition government’s proposed new gas plant at Kurri Kurri, as a senior energy official also questioned the viability of the project and others in the industry said it would be impossible to build it in time to replace the Liddell coal generator

EnergyAustralia's Tallawarra power station (supplied).

The Morrison government has repeatedly threatened to build – through its wholly owned Snowy Hydro – a gas plant of up to 1,000MW if the private sector did not respond adequately to the perceived shortfall created by the planned closure of Liddell in early 2023.

Energy minister Angus Taylor still argues that the shortfall, which he now brands as an “economic” one rather than a physical one, remains close to 1,000MW, despite the numerous battery storage, coal upgrade and renewable energy investment projects put forward. AEMO puts the shortfall at just 154MW.

The energy industry itself has made it clear that Taylor’s threat has likely caused private companies to think twice about any investments. EnergyAustralia is still considering a 300MW addition to its Tallawarra gas generator and Andrew Forrest is yet to decide on a 660MW gas generator through Squadron Energy.

A spokesperson for EnergyAustralia said that the company was “still working toward a final investment decision” on the gas generator proposal that would sit alongside the company’s existing 435MW gas generator at Tallawarra.

Read the full article published in the Renew Economy 30th April 2021