Australia, Policy, Projects, Renewables

NSW extends Eraring service time, citing reliability and price reasons

Eraring, Coal, Fire, Greenhouse Gas, power station, emission

The New South Wales Government has announced a two-year extension to the operation of the Eraring Power Station until 2027.

According to the State Government, this move is part of an agreement with Origin Energy, aimed at ensuring energy reliability and managing price risks as the state transitions from coal-fired power to renewable energy.

The Eraring Power Station, one of Australia’s largest coal-fired power plants, was slated for closure. However, the latest analysis from the Australian Energy Market Operator indicates that without Eraring, NSW could face energy reliability risks from 2025.

The State Government said the temporary extension of Eraring’s operation will provide the necessary time to develop the renewable energy, storage, and network infrastructure projects required to replace the power station.

Chris Minns, Premier of NSW, said the decision delivers certainty for households and businesses.

“The people of NSW now have certainty that the NSW Government has a plan to ensure we have reliable energy while we transition the workforce and the economy to net zero,” he said.

Penny Sharpe, NSW’s Minister for Climate Change, Energy and the Environment, said the extension to the operation of Eraring is a “proactive and sensible step” to avoid electricity outages and rising power prices.

“The NSW Labor Government remains entirely committed to the transition to renewable energy and our emissions reduction targets,” she said.

“A net zero future holds immense opportunities for our state’s economy and our environment.”

Clean Energy Council, the country’s peak body for clean energy industry, said it is “supportive of the various measures in NSW”.

“The NSW Government has demonstrated a strong commitment to the clean energy transition through the NSW Energy Roadmap,” Christiaan Zuur, Clean Energy Council’s policy director said in a press release.

“Today’s announcement of an extension to the Eraring coal generator simply highlights the need to double down on these existing commitments.”

Zuur added that Eraring’s extension must be backed by measures to integrate new renewable generation and storage into the NSW grid. Yesterday’s announcement of grid connection support for large-scale batteries is one such example.

“Beyond this, the market needs clear signals and support to bring on the new capacity needed to replace ageing coal generators. A rapid transition to renewables firmed by storage is the only way to avoid blackouts and energy price hikes,” he said.

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