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ICYMI: Andrews doesn’t deny VRET could force Latrobe Valley plant out early

DANIEL Andrews has refused to deny that his renewable ­energy target might force ­Yallourn coal-fired power station out of the market earlier than expected.

By Portal Admin - 6th October 2017 - Back to News

The Victorian Premier, in Canberra for the Council of Australian Governments meeting, did not rule out the Latrobe Valley coal plant shutting within a decade, a closure hidden away in detailed modelling as part of the state’s aim to have 40 per cent of power coming from renewable sources by 2025.

The same modelling states it doesn’t take into account "issues of system security" from the "increased penetration of renewables".

Industry groups and energy experts have queried the ­reliability of Victoria’s power supplies under the state’s policy.

Yallourn’s owner, Energy Australia, has repeatedly said it plans to keep the plant open until 2032.

Modelling shows the station’s output would be drastically reduced six years earlier than the planned closure.

Mr Andrews did not deny it on Thursday when asked directly if Yallourn would start to be shut down from 2026.

"Coal is going to continue to be a very important part of ­baseload electricity in our state and indeed in other states," Mr Andrews told Sky News.

"We are already putting more than 100MW worth of battery storage into one part of our grid where there are some grid stability issues and they have been there for a long time. We’re going to see more and more battery storage."

Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said Mr Andrews needed to come clean with Victorians and the workers at Yallourn on the future of the plant under his policy, and how he plans on supplying electricity to households and businesses without the 1400MW of baseload power from Yallourn.

"One hundred megawatts of battery storage in one part of the grid isn’t a plan to replace 1400MW of dispatchable power," Mr Frydenberg said.

"Daniel Andrews needs to outline how much his ideological pursuit of green votes in the city is going to cost households and businesses, and how it will affect supply."

An Energy Australia spokeswoman said the company had been clear about the future of the Yallourn power station.

"Yallourn has coal reserves to 2032 and we have plans to run through until that time and then rehabilitate the site," she said.


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