Yesterday, EnergyAustralia announced that the Yallourn Power Station will retire in mid-2028 and that it has committed to building a four-hour, 350 megawatt utility-scale battery by 2026 in the Latrobe Valley.
In response, the Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) Chief System Design Officer, Alex Wonhas, welcomed the certainty provided by EnergyAustralia for the coal-fired generator.
“AEMO welcomes the certainty as to the future of the Yallourn Power Station and the commitment to build a 350-megawatt battery in the Latrobe Valley,” Mr Wonhas said.
“The announcement allows for a considered market response to facilitate an orderly transition of the National Electricity Market,” he said.
In developing the 2020 Integrated System Plan (ISP), AEMO consulted with generation owners on the expected closures of existing plant. This included the first Yallourn unit retiring in 2028/29 with the fourth and last unit in 2032/33.
The ISP also flagged that 63 per cent of today’s coal-fired power stations would retire by 2040, replaced by wind and solar projects, which would be complemented by ﬁrming generation, such as battery storage, pumped hydro and gas.
To achieve the full benefit of the least-cost ISP roadmap for the National Electricity Market, essential market and regulatory reform is needed to ensure consumers reap the benefit of the future power system.
“As the energy transition continues to gain pace, it is increasingly important that the Energy Security Board’s market reforms are progressed to ensure the exit of thermal plants is coordinated with the timely entry into the market of new dispatchable capacity to keep consumer prices low and energy reliable,” Mr Wonhas said.
AEMO is committed to collaborating with all industry participants to design the lowest cost, secure and reliable energy system for the future.
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