EnergyAustralia stated it would advance the date at which it will retire its Yallourn Power Plant in the LaTrobe Valley by a period of four years, from 2032 until 2028.
In its place, will be a battery poised to be larger than any in operation across the globe.
Initially constructed as a line of six brown coal-fired thermal power stations built from the 1920s to the 1960s, the Yallourn Power Station is situated in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley east of Melbourne and is the second largest power station located in Victoria.
While five of the six plants are decommissioned, the sixth possesses about 1,450 megawatts of capacity and provides approximately 20 percent of Victoria’s power demand and about eight percent of power to the National Electricity Market.
Costing $200-$300 million each year to run and maintain, it provides jobs to approximately 500 permanent employees at the station and on its adjoining mine site – a number that balloons to about 1,000 for three to four months of the year to deal with major unit outages.
Initially scheduled to close in 2032, the remaining plant will be retired in 2068.
The company has announced intentions to make a 350 MW battery which it states will be more sizable than any battery currently operating and will be Australia’s initial four-hour battery.
The battery will be based in the Yarra Valley and will be finished by 2026.
Energy Australia stated that these actions would cut down on its emissions of carbon dioxide by more than 60 percent relative to modern times and were a component of its plan to be carbon neutral by 2050.
A $10 million support package will be created to help the station’s employees.
Energy Australia said the construction of the battery would lessen its carbon dioxide emissions by 60 percent and will advance its strategy to be carbon neutral by 2050.
EnergyAustralia Managing Director, Catherine Tanna, stated the firm approached the Victorian Government with the plan to retire Yallourn and adopt a cleaner energy plan in a manner that respects the workforce and the community—giving the employees in particular time to reskill.
EnergyAustralia seeks to prove that coal-fired power can leave the market in a manner that supports employees and guarantees that customers will receive reliable energy.
The new battery will secure Victoria’s energy supply and guarantee more renewables to penetrate the system.
Victorian Energy Minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the change will lead ultimately to the establishment of a modern energy network—and with many jobs to go with it.