Today, power company AGL has announced it will bring forward closure dates for the Loy Yang A coal fired power station in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley by ten years to 2035.
It is the second time this year AGL has announced earlier closure dates for its ageing coal fleet, after announcing Loy Yang A would close by 2045.
“It is hard to trust this announcement from AGL. The changing messages from the power generators is a wakeup call that we need to prepare for early closure” said Wendy Farmer, Gippsland Community Organiser for Friends of the Earth.
Today's news serves as a wakeup call for governments to take a more active role in planning the transition with communities like the Latrobe Valley.
“We can’t keep leaving plans for coal closure to private companies,” said Wendy Farmer.
Over many years, people in the Latrobe Valley community have been calling for a proper, well funded transition plan for the region.
“What communities need is certainty. That means a proper transition plan and support from all levels of government, and rapid development of renewable energy in Gippsland to bring on new power supply” said Farmer.
Long home to the state’s coal industry, Gippsland is on the cusp of a massive transformation of its energy system, with an estimated $40 billion worth of new renewable energy and transmission projects now on the table. And with game changing offshore wind projects like the Star of the South on the horizon, Gippsland is set to become the centre of the country’s offshore wind sector.
This represents an opportunity for thousands of new jobs and careers, regional investment and a significant source of community income.
“The opportunity in renewable energy is there, and AGL’s announcement today shows we can’t afford to delay a transition plan for the region any longer” said Wendy Farmer.
Wendy Farmer - Gippsland Organiser - Friends of the Earth - 0408 261 551
Pat Simons - Yes 2 Renewables Coordinator - Friends of the Earth - 0415 789 961