The Liddell Power Station has played an important role in supplying electricity in New South Wales for nearly 50 years.
In 2015, AGL announced it would close Liddell in 2022. AGL later extended this to April 2023. This would make Liddell the next in a series of coal power station closures. In the past 10 years closures have removed over 5000 MW of capacity from the National Electricity Market (NEM).
The Australian Energy Market Operator warned there would be a higher risk of blackouts in New South Wales after Liddell closes, without more investment in dispatchable power.
As a result of these concerns the Australian Government set up the Liddell Taskforce in August 2019.
It examined the effect of the planned closure on price, reliability and security in New South Wales and the NEM. It also considered the impact on dependent industries and the local region.
Australian Government response to Liddell Taskforce report
The government announced its response to the report on 15 September 2020, supporting all recommendations from the Liddell Taskforce.
The government will not accept the scenario of Liddell closing without sufficient replacement capacity because this will have an unacceptable effect on electricity prices and grid reliability. The government expects the private sector to make commitments by April 2021 to invest in 1000 MW of new dispatchable capacity and is prepared to take action if necessary to ensure the required capacity is built.
Ensuring affordable, reliable and secure electricity supply The Hon Scott Morrison MP, Prime Minister, and the Hon Angus Taylor MP, Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, joint media release 15 September 2020
Liddell Taskforce to address reliability and power prices The Hon Angus Taylor MP, Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, media release 9 August 2019