The country’s largest coal-fired power station will close seven years ahead of schedule, owing to its operator’s inability to cope with the “influx of renewables.”
Origin Energy operates the 2.88 gigawatt Eraring facility, which is located in the Hunter area north of Sydney.
In 2025, the facility will be decommissioned and replaced by a large-scale battery.
It joins a long list of coal facilities that have been forced to close due to the rise of inexpensive wind and solar energy in the nation.
“Today’s energy market in Australia is significantly different from the one that existed when Eraring was brought online in the early 1980s,” said Origin’s CEO Frank Calabria.
In recent years, Australia’s reliance on coal-fired power plants has decreased.
However, coal continues to provide 60% of the country’s power, making it one of the most carbon-emitting countries per capita.
Last year, renewables accounted for almost a third of Australia’s power output, and by the end of the decade, they are expected to account for close to 70%.
AGL, a rival energy company, announced last week that it will move the closing of its two largest coal-fired power reactors ahead by many years.
Meanwhile, in 2021, Energy Australia announced that Yallourn in Victoria, one of the country’s most polluting power facilities, will close four years earlier than planned.
Coal plant revenues have fallen for all three businesses in recent years as cheaper renewable energy drives down power costs.