Origin Energy has quietly informed the Australian Energy Market Operator that the first units of its 2,800MW Eraring coal generator in NSW – the biggest in the country – will close in 2030.
The revelation comes in the latest data published by AEMO’s “Generator expected closure year” document – a spreadsheet input into its annual energy supply forecasts – and follows new advice from Origin to AEMO made on May 4.
It does not represent an early closure of Eraring – which Origin has said repeatedly will close by 2032 – but indicates it will not switch off all its capacity at one time, and will instead manage a staged exit over a couple of years.
The new advice to AEMO says its number 4 unit will close in 2030, and its number 1 unit in 2031. The other two units will shut, as intended, in 2032.
This, of course, does not rule out the possibility that Origin will fast forward the closures to an earlier year, particularly given the rapid changes in the electricity market, including the huge uptake of rooftop solar which is expected to grow 4GW in 2020, with NSW being the strongest market.