New analysis shows Liddell pattern of peak demand breakdowns

New analysis by The Australia Institute shows the Liddell Power Station broke down four times this year. These breakdowns were on high-demand Summer days when reliability is most important for electricity supply.

This follows Liddell’s failure in the 2017 heatwave, which saw half (1000 MW) of the power station’s capacity out of service on the peak day of February 10. Liddell’s failure was the single largest contributor to the load shedding at Tomago Aluminum plant, near Newcastle.

The analysis reinforces that AGL’s decision announced this morning to close Liddell as planned will mean more reliable and lower cost electricity for NSW electricity consumers.

“Liddell has already had four major breakdowns this year. Two of these happened on very hot, summer days within two hours of peak demand. Liddell cannot be relied on to deliver power when we need it most,” Ben Oquist, Executive Director of The Australia Institute, said.

“Hot days are when we need power most and coal power plants preform badly in the heat.”

“At 47 years, Liddell is Australia’s oldest coal plant. Prolonging the life of this relic will lead to less reliable and more expensive electricity for NSW consumers.

“Age makes coal power stations even more unreliable in the heat and Liddell is one of the oldest coal power stations in the world.

“AGL has given seven years notice for the closure and is investing in replacement power that will actually be cheaper and more reliable than keeping Liddell on life support.

“By contrast, when Alinta closed Northern Power Station a few years ago, it gave less than a year’s notice, did not invest in replacement capacity, and failed to properly remediate the site.

“Even coal companies are getting out of coal, it’s time for governments to do the same.”

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