Australia’s largest coal-fired power station is heading for the chopping block much earlier than expected, and will be replaced with a large-scale battery, its owner says.
Power retailer Origin Energy has told the Australian Energy Market Operator it plans to close the Eraring power station in Lake Macquarie, NSW, in August 2025.
This is three-and-a-half years earlier than the initial closure date of 2032.
Chief executive Frank Calabria linked the decision to changes in the National Energy Market working against traditional baseload power stations, as Origin transitions to zero net emissions.
“Australia’s energy market today is very different to the one when Eraring was brought online in the early 1980s,” he said on Thursday.
“The reality is the economics of coal-fired power stations are being put under increasing, unsustainable pressure by cleaner and lower-cost generation, including solar, wind and batteries.”
The Eraring site will remain in the hands of Origin, which plans to install a large-scale battery, beyond the closure date.
Mr Calabria said the rise of renewable power generation was affecting wholesale electricity prices.
“Our cost of energy is expected to be more economical through a combination of renewables, storage and Origin’s fleet of peaking power stations,” he said.