• AGL Energy's Andy Vesey sticks to Liddell closure
AGL Energy's Andy Vesey sticks to Liddell closure
17 Nov, 2017, 1 Comment

Summary: Less than four weeks short of the 90 day deadline for AGL Energy to report to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on plans to replace the Liddell power station in the Hunter Valley, chief executive Andy Vesey has doubled down on replacing the ageing coal plant with clean energy.....


"(O)ur view is we will replace that plant with what we are calling a synthetic generating plant which is as reliable, is more efficient, which is less polluting and actually less costly than that alternative," Mr Vesey told the BOSS Leadership Summit on Wednesday.


Feeling the heat from rising electricity prices, Mr Turnbull summonsed Mr Vesey to Canberra and turned up the heat on AGL to extend Liddell's life by five years from its announced 2022 closure two months ago, arguing it was needed to keep electricity reliable and affordable through the transition to clean energy.


But AGL resisted, pointing out that it had a well-developed plan to replace Liddell's nominal 1680 megawatt capacity - it typically runs at about half that rate due to breakdowns - with a mix of wind farms, solar farms, gas peaking plants, batteries and "demand response" systems which it said would be more than enough to plug the gap left by Liddell's closure. 

AGL says Liddell can be replaced with 1600 MW of new renewable capacity including Coopers gap and Silverton wind farms, ...
AGL says Liddell can be replaced with 1600 MW of new renewable capacity including Coopers gap and Silverton wind farms, a 250 MW battery and 100 MW of demand response AGL 2017 AGM presentation


Mr Vesey told the summit that AGL is the largest CO2 emitter and "almost .. the largest owner operator of renewable energy in the country" and while there are risks in announcing plant closures early, the company is confident that the replacement synthetic generating plant for Liddell will be reliable and affordable for consumers. 



"It is going to consist of replacing the energy from renewable sources using gas and storage technology for the capacity and we are really going to be able to demonstrate that all this concern around reliability, availability and cost by replacing coal with something else probably needs to be re-thought," Mr Vesey said.


"Now the fact is no one has done it before. So you have a bird in your hand called an existing coal plant, I get it but it is my job and the job of my people to bring people along with us in having those conversations and we are working very hard to do that."


He said he was confident that AGL could bring the government - which is mired in a parliamentary dual citizenship eligibility crisis that has put energy reform on the back burner - around to AGL's way of thinking on the Liddell site transformation. 

Barnaby Joyce and Malcolm Turnbull attacked AGL when it wouldn't drop its plan to close Liddell coal power station in ...
Barnaby Joyce and Malcolm Turnbull attacked AGL when it wouldn't drop its plan to close Liddell coal power station in 2022. Pictured on the campaign trail for Mr Joyce's by-election at the Tamworth Jockey Club on Tuesday 7 November. Photos: Gareth Gardner/Northern Daily Leader Gareth Gardner

Collision course


"We will engage with government on a schedule to bring this about and take advice and continue to evolve but I am hopeful that we will continue down that path. I think we will come together." 


Seven weeks ago they appeared to be on a collision course after Mr Vesey and outgoing chairman Jerry Maycock reiterated the plan at AGL's annual meeting - drawing hostile responses from Mr Turnbull and then Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce. 

AGL says Investment in new clean energy capacity can bring electricity prices down over time
AGL says Investment in new clean energy capacity can bring electricity prices down over time AGL 2017 AGM presentation



    Read more: http://www.afr.com/news/agl-energys-andy-vesey-sticks-to-liddell-closure-20171116-gzmgyt#ixzz4ydm1y4zF 
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    Comments.
    • MyPassion

      Anonymous
      22 Nov, 2017

      What fossil fuel advocates like Turnbull and Joyce don't seem to get is that companies like AGL are profit-motivated, and the rapidly declining cost of renewables (combined with the proliferation of battery technologies that will get much cheaper as manufacturing volumes increase) makes them irresistible to utility companies. The sad thing is these are all technologies that a country like Australia with its strong engineering base could become a world leader in.
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