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Energy Market Operator report shows NSW can avoid costly Eraring bail-out.

4th September 2023  

The Nature Conservation Council of New South Wales (NCC) has today urged the Minns government to roll out an energy security plan based on clean energy, as described in the Australian Energy Markey Operator’s (AEMO) Electricity Statement of Opportunities, and avoid subsidising Australia’s largest coal-fired power station.  

“AEMO’s report shows the reliability standard of 99.998% will be met in NSW after Eraring coal power station closes in 2025 so long as existing government schemes are implemented in a timely way."[1] NCC Acting CEO Dr Brad Smith said today

“There is a huge 248 gigawatt (GW) pipeline of proposed clean generation and storage projects, and the grid operator’s report emphasises the need to urgently get that pipeline flowing to bring down prices and ensure households have reliable power." Smith continued 

“This necessarily conservative an annual health-check of electricity supply makes it clear that we have enough clean energy projects in the pipeline to get off expensive, dirty coal and meet our 2030 emissions targets."

AEMO provided nine options for NSW to meet its energy needs while ensuring the on-time closure of Eraring.[2]   

“Through a combination of battery storage, wind, and solar electricity we can have a more reliable, cleaner, and more affordable grid than what is being delivered by our rapidly aging and unreliable coal-fired power plants.” 

We’re heartened to hear NSW Climate Minister Penny Sharpe note that the “the NSW government does not want Eraring to be open one day longer than it needs to be.”  

NCC also backed NSW Premier Chris Minns’ recognition of the need to get on with the construction of transmission lines to deliver clean energy on time.  

“The Premier is dead right, to ensure affordable, clean energy we need to get on with building transmission lines and connecting up our great wind and solar resources.” 

Former Climate and Energy Minister Matt Kean also said today that he was advised that the cost of keep Eraring open would be $3 billion dollars.  

“$3bn is an insane amount of public money to spend on an aging and polluting coal fired power plant, when we could instead invest in cheap, clean energy from the wind and sun”. 

“The challenge now is to ensure that both community and environmental concerns are properly addressed as part of the planning process. “ 

Statement ends 

Media contact: Clancy Barnard 
E: [email protected]  Ph: 0438 869 332 


[1] see ESOO table 10. 250 MW of firming is required to meet the reliability standard in 2026-27, far below the existing NSW firming tender of 930 MW, which received 3,300 MW of bids according to AEMO Services (media release 29 June 2023).   

[2] see ESOO table 11. 

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