AGL is postponing the full closure of its coal-fired Liddell power station by a year, and also plans to keep its SA Torrens gas plant running for longer to support “system reliability” throughout the summer months.
AGL said on Friday the first unit at Liddell in the NSW Hunter Valley will close in April 2022, but an independent engineering assessment had necessitated the continuation of the remaining three units until April 2023.
AGL had previously indicated that Liddell would close in 2022 after 50 years of operation.
The energy provider also told the Australian Energy Market Operator on Friday it was seeking to delay the closure of the first two units at the Torrens A station in SA by 10 months, to September 2020.
“In both cases, AGL has told AEMO it has been able to confirm a schedule that will help the national energy market cope with the critical summer months,” the company said in a release.
AGL shares rose 0.73 per cent to $20.59 in the first 15 minutes of trade after the announcement.
AGL had previously announced a plan to mothball two of the four Torrens units by November 2019, but is seeking permission from the state government to continue to operate over the upcoming summer.
The company said move will help mitigate generation impacts across the system following the outage at Victoria’s Loy Yang station in May, and ensure that the new gas-fired Barker Inlet Power Station in SA is operationally stable prior to the Torrens closure.
A third unit at Torrens will be closed in September 2021 and the final unit in September 2022.
AGL said it was continuing to progress a series of projects in NSW including the 100MW Bayswater power station upgrade, as well as a potential 250MW of pumped hydro at Bells Mountain, and a 250MW gas power station at Newcastle.
In SA, the company is investigating the feasibility of a 250MW pumped hydro plant at Kanmantoo.