EnergyAustralia to close all coal-fired plants by 2040

Out-Law News | 29 Sep 2021 | 2:01 am | 1 min. read

Australian energy company EnergyAustralia has announced it will close all its coal-fired plants by 2040.

Its Mount Piper coal-fired plant, which had been originally planned to operate until at least 2042, will be closed by 2040 as part of its plan to transition away from coal.

Renewables expert John Yeap of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law, said: “EnergyAustralia’s parent, Hong Kong headquartered CLP Group, has been one of the most strident advocates of climate awareness in the Asian time zone, with a carbon policy that goes back close to two decades. It is therefore not surprising that EnergyAustralia is committing to its declared net zero targets.”

According to the company’s climate change statement (2-page / 185KB PDF), it aims to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and to reduce its direct carbon dioxide emissions by over 60% by 2028-2029.

In 2019 the company announced plans to expand the Mount Piper plant's capacity by 60 megawatts (MW) with over A$80 million investment. It planned to complete the project in 2020, with a view to supplying electricity to an additional 55,000 homes by 2021. These plans have been cancelled to be in line with the company’s climate change policy targets.

The Mount Piper plant was built in 1992 and 1993 comprising two 700MW coal-fired steam turbine generators which have the capacity to meet the energy needs of 1.18 million homes in New South Wales each year.

In March, EnergyAustralia said it would close its Yallourn coal plant in Victoria in 2028 and build a 350MW battery by 2026. The shutdown of Yallourn will reduce Energy Australia’s carbon dioxide emissions by over 60%.