Liddell coal-fired power station ‘likely to live beyond 2023’
Energy Minister Angus Taylor has given his clearest indication yet the Liddell coal-fired power station will live on beyond 2023 - the date when it is due to close.
"It is crucial that as these power stations get older, we have either life extension or like-for-like replacement," Mr Taylor told ABC 730 last night.
In this context, "like for like" means reliable power - that is, not wind or solar.
Sky News had earlier reported he was preparing to use up to $300 million of public money to keep the power station open until 2026 - long enough to get new renewable supply into the NSW market via Snowy 2.0.
Sky said one option under consideration involved the government buying Liddell from AGL.
Others were forcing AGL to keep it open or guaranteeing to buy the power from the plant for three years.
"I think everyone is getting a bit ahead of themselves with some speculative reporting," Mr Taylor said on Monday night.
He added that he was still awaiting the final report of the Liddell Taskforce, which has been examining the implications of its shutdown.
"I'm not going to speculate on the outcomes of the Liddell Taskforce," Mr Taylor said.
"I haven't received the final report yet."
Extending the life of Liddell would infuriate moderate sections of the Coalition, who want deeper emissions cuts.
But it would be applauded by the conservative wing of the government. AGL said in 2015 that it intended to close Liddell by 2022 after 50 years of operation.
But last year it said part of the facility would remain in operation until 2023.