Despite being planned for retirement in 2032, EnergyAustralia has announced that its Yallourn Power Station in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley will close in mid-2028.
EnergyAustralia Managing Director, Catherine Tanna, said EnergyAustralia approached the Victorian Government with the plan to retire Yallourn and transition to cleaner energy in a way that does not leave the workforce or the community behind.
“The energy transition is too important to leave to chance – a plan that supports people, the Latrobe Valley and locks in energy storage capacity before Yallourn retires will ensure the smoothest transition possible,” Ms Tanna said.
“Our $10 million support package, coupled with seven years’ advance notice, means our power station and mine site people will have time to plan, reskill or retrain.
“EnergyAustralia is determined to demonstrate that coal-fired power can exit the market in a way that supports our people and ensures customers continue to receive reliable energy.
“Meanwhile, our new battery will help to secure Victoria’s energy supply and enable more renewables to enter the system. It would be larger than any battery operating in the world today.
“Customers want affordable, reliable, cleaner sources of energy and as Yallourn has proudly supplied energy for 100 years we want to harness our history, and the expertise of our workforce, to repower Victoria.
“We thank the Victorian Government for supporting a well-planned transition for workers, the community and the energy system.”
EnergyAustralia’s goal is to be carbon neutral by 2050. Yallourn’s retirement will reduce the company’s carbon dioxide emissions by over 60 per cent relative to today, accelerating its carbon neutral ambition.
Yallourn’s current generation capacity is up to 1,480MW, supplying about 20 per cent of Victoria’s electricity demand or eight per cent of the National Electricity Market.
EnergyAustralia’s plan ensures storage is built to firm increased renewable energy in Victoria before Yallourn exits the system.
Speaking on 10 March, Ms Tanna said,“Today is really day one of a long-term plan that brings together many people across the energy sector to work together to deliver the clean energy transformation for all.”
EnergyAustralia historically invests between $200-$300 million per year to ensure the plant’s continued operation. Yallourn employs around 500 permanent workers on site, and for three to four months most years, the workforce increases to about 1,000 for major unit outages.
In a statement, Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D’Ambrosio, assured Yallourn Power Station and mine workers that they would be “at the heart” of the Victorian Government’s long-term response to the closure announcement.
“The truth is we’re seeing these old, coal-fired power stations creaking to a stop right around the world as countries and companies are switching to new, clean, more reliable and more efficient forms of energy,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.
“We can’t ignore that change or pretend it’s not happening – and we owe it to these workers to build a modern energy network that creates and supports thousands of Victorian jobs.
“The 2028 closure date announced by EnergyAustralia gives us time to do that – and it gives us time to manage this transition properly for workers, including contractors and casuals.”