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Liddell retirement cuts pollution, not reliability, says NCC

21st April 2023 

Liddell retirement cuts pollution, not reliability, says NCC  

The Nature Conservation Council of New South Wales (NCC), the states leading environmental advocacy organisation, has today highlighted that over 1100 MW of dispatchable capacity has been added to the NSW electricity grid since the closure of Liddell was announced. 

The retirement of the Liddell coal-fired power station over the next week is a case study in cleaning up the state’s climate pollution,” NCC CEO Jacqui Mumford said today. 

Since AGL announced the retirement date for Liddell in 2015, 19 energy storage projects have been completed across the country, and another 33 are under construction.  [1] 

In NSW alone, 1190 MW of firm capacity has been added since Liddell’s retirement was announced, in excess of the 750 MW of average availability Liddell provided in 2022. See table below. 

“We can have a safe climate for our kids and a reliable power grid, and Liddell’s closure is a demonstration of how we must do this” said Mumford. 

“Replacing this power station has huge benefits, including a massive 8% drop in NSW’s greenhouse gas emissions,”[2] 

“That's equivalent to swapping 60% of the cars in NSW with zero emissions EVs. [3] 

The impact of Lidell’s announced closure was to accelerate investment in renewables across the state."

Commentary on keeping old and polluting coal fired power plants open longer than scheduled is only serving to spook investors and make it harder to secure the clean energy generation we need. 

“This has been planned for and the NSW energy system is ready.” 

Firm capacity online or due before summer 2023-24 

Project 
Nameplate capacity (MW) 
Tallawarra B gas turbine 
320 
Smithfield gas turbine returned to service (2017) 
185 
Queanbeyan Battery 
10 
Riverina ESS1 
60 
Riverina ESS2 
65 
Darlington Point Battery 
25 
Wallgrove Grid Battery 
50 
Broken Hill Battery 
50 
Bayswater unit 02,03,04 upgrades 
75 
Mt Piper unit 1 upgrade 
30 
VNI minor 
170 
QNI minor 
150 
TOTAL 
1190 

 

Statement ends 

Media contact: Clancy Barnard 

Note: NCC CEO Jacqui Mumford is available for comment on request  

References 

[1] Clean Energy Council, Renewable Projects Quarterly Report Q4 2022  

[2] NSW greenhouse gas emissions are estimated to be 111.6 Mt CO2e in 2023. Source: NSW Emissions Dashboard; Liddell emitted 8.46 million tonnes of CO2 on average in the five years from FY16-17 to FY 20-21. Source: Clean Energy Regulator, greenhouse and energy information by designated facilities 

[3] There are 4.4 million passenger vehicles in NSW, which drive an average of 11,000 km per year, each emitting 3.1 t CO2e per year. Sources: ABS, 9208.0 - Survey of Motor Vehicle Use, Australia, 12 months ended 30 June 2016; ABS Motor Vehicle Census, Australia 2021; Greenhouse accounts factors 2022, DCCEEW. 

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