Aerial view of Illawarra

EnergyAustralia’s $300 million Tallawarra B gas-fired power station has officially opened after two years of construction.

Tallawarra B, a fast-start 320MW gas-fired power station, is set to supply the New South Wales electricity system with a flexible capacity asset designed to support system reliability as more renewables enter the system and coal-fired power stations retire.

EnergyAustralia said the new Tallawarra B station complements its existing 440MW gas-fired power station, Tallawarra A. 

The Tallawarra stations are expected to provide flexible and reliable energy to homes and businesses during high demand periods in summer and winter, and when solar and wind generation is low. 

EnergyAustralia Managing Director, Mark Collette, said, “Today is a major milestone. After more than two years of construction, we are delighted to see Tallawarra B operate and we acknowledge the remarkable work of many highly skilled engineers and tradespeople who have worked on this project.  

“We thank our contractor, GE Vernova, who worked with us to deliver this project through many challenges, including COVID restrictions. And we acknowledge the support of the New South Wales Government in making Tallawarra B a reality.

“Tallawarra B is the first gas-fired power station built in New South Wales in more than ten years. The new station will play a vital role in the energy transition, providing flexible and reliable energy during periods of peak demand or low supply.  Tallawarra B enables and complements more renewables entering the system as coal-fired power stations retire.  

“Gas will continue to play a vital role in firming renewables in the energy transition. We are positioning both Tallawarra stations to play a long-term role in New South Wales’ energy future and our own plans to achieve net zero by 2050. 

“Our ambition is for green hydrogen to be part of the fuel mix at Tallawarra A in 2025, enabling zero emissions flexible capacity.

“We are also investing in Tallawarra A to ensure it is also gas/hydrogen-capable when the green hydrogen manufacturing industry in the Illawarra is of an appropriate size and scale.

“In April, we will commence a $90 million upgrade and overhaul of Tallawarra A. This will increase the capacity and efficiency of the station from 440MW to 480MW while also enabling the use of up to 37 per cent hydrogen as a fuel when green hydrogen is commercially available,” Mr Collette said.

GE Vernova Gas Power Chief Executive Officer – Asia, Ramesh Singaram, said, “Tallawarra B demonstrates the substantive role that gas technologies can play in reducing carbon emissions, ensuring reliable electrical supply, and fighting climate change.  

“We are committed to delivering reliable, stable, cost-effective energy that supports energy providers, like EnergyAustralia, to assist with developing a hydrogen supply chain and transitioning Australia to a lower carbon future,” Mr Singaram said.

EnergyAustralia’s Tallawarra B – Key Facts 

  • Tallawarra B’s is Australia’s first gas-peaking power station with total emissions offset over its operational life
  • Tallawarra B is completing commissioning and has already demonstrated the fast start and flexible 320MW capacity in operation
  • GE Vernova has been the project’s key contractor and construction has supported more than 350 highly skilled jobs over the past two years
  • Rehabilitation of surrounding land undertaken with native vegetation as part of a $300,000 partnership with the Illawarra Local Aboriginal Land Council and Wollongong Botanic Gardens
  • Investments have been made in safety for aircraft using the nearby Shellharbour Airport including a $13 million 54t plume dispersion device and real-time plume monitoring
  • EnergyAustralia is continuing to assess the feasibility of using hydrogen in Tallawarra B’s fuel mix by the end of 2025 noting this timing is dependent on the development of a hydrogen manufacturing industry of an appropriate size and scale

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