Origin Energy’s brings forward Eraring power plant closure to 2025, just days after AGL flagged early closures

Angus Taylor has warned Origin Energy’s early closure of NSW’s Eraring coal plant could result in more expensive power bills.

Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor has warned Origin Energy’s early closure of NSW’s Eraring coal plant could lead to a supply crunch and more expensive power bills.

The shock move by one of Australia’s biggest power companies, first revealed by The Australian on Thursday morning, comes just days after AGL brought forward the closure of Bayswater in NSW and Loy Yang A in Victoria.

It underscores the profound shift away from the fossil fuel that accounts for 70 per cent of Australia’s power supply.

Origin announced the early closure of the nation’s largest coal fired power station in mid-2025, seven years earlier than its original 2032 closure date. The announcement on Thursday morning came as part of its interim results, sparking speculation over a potential deal.

Mr Taylor said he was bitterly disappointed by the closure.

“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,” Mr Taylor said in a statement.

A supply squeeze and increased household bills could result given the potential gap in generation.

“The early and sudden closure of this 2880MW 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,” Mr Taylor said.

The federal government plans to work with the NSW state government and private sector to make sure there is appropriate replacement by June 2023.

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

Read the full article published in The Chronicle 17th February 2022