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AGL to invest $200m in coal-fired power station Bayswater

AGL to invest $200m in coal-fired power station Bayswater

AGL will invest $200 million to upgrade the Bayswater coal-fired power station in NSW to replace the power it will lose when it closes the Liddell power station.

The upgrade will add another 100 megawatts in capacity to the Bayswater power station by improving its operational efficiency.

Bayswater is AGL’s largest coal-fired power station and is currently capable of producing 2640 megawatts.

AGL first flagged its intention to upgrade the power station as part of its plan to replace the 2000 megawatts that will be removed from the system when the Liddell coal-fired power station – which is located less than five kilometres from Bayswater – closes down in 2022.

AGL Macquarie General Manager Kate Coates said the investment will ensure Bayswater can produce more power without increasing coal consumption or emission levels.

"By replacing the original turbines with modern turbine technology, Bayswater will have an additional 100-megawatt capacity, which is enough energy for up to 100,000 average Australian homes,” Ms Coates said.

“This extra electricity supply will be generated without the need for additional coal use, and therefore without additional emissions.”

Work will begin on the upgrade in February 2019 and run over four years, with the power station’s four turbines replaced during planned maintenance downtimes.

“This will ensure all Bayswater’s upgraded turbines are fully operational by [Liddell's closure date of] 2022,” Ms Coates said.

Toshiba has been contracted to carry out the turbine replacement.

Bayswater itself is slated for closure in 2035.

The remaining 1900 megawatts of energy taken out of the National Electricity Market by the closure of Liddell will be replaced by a combination of gas-fired power plants generating 750 megawatts, 1600 megawatts through renewable energy, and another 250 megawatts of additional supply through a battery system installed at Liddell.

AGL will spend about $900 million to buy wind farms as part of this energy replacement.

AGL will also consider pumped hydro potential in the Hunter Valley, which would provide more "firming" options to overcome renewables intermittency issues.

Shutting down Liddell

The decision to shut down Liddell came after an independent analysis found that keeping the station open for an additional five more years beyond 2022 – a request made to AGL by the Turnbull Government in order to ensure the security of electricity supply – would cost almost $1 billion just in operations, not including the difference in energy price.

The closure of Liddell would make Bayswater in NSW and the Loy Yang A brown coal-fired power station in Victoria AGL’s two last coal-fired generators.

This new investment in Bayswater follows the company’s plan to build more energy generation in South Australia.

AGL will start building a 210-megawatt power station gas-fired power station at Barker Inlet, in South Australia. The 210-megawatt power station will replace two of the four turbines at the 50-year old Torrens A gas power plant, which AGL plans to progressively shut down from July next year.

Sydney Morning Herald

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