As part of the looming carbon tax deal, the government plans to close two of Australia's highest-emitting power stations, according to reports by The Australian and Fairfax Media.
The government is reportedly negotiating to buy the Hazelwood facility, owned by International-GDF Suez, in Victoria's La Trobe Valley, and the Playford power station, owned by Alinta Energy, in South Australia.
Under the plan, the government would pay to shut down the power stations over a number of years while higher-cost gas-fired operators prepare to enter the energy market and replace higher-emission brown-coal stations.
In addition to the two plans, Fairfax reported that the owners of the Yallourn plant in Victoria have suggested an interest in being purchased and shut down if the government is able to meet their price demands.
The government, the Greens and rural independent MPs have largely agreed on the framework for the carbon tax bill, though they want Treasury modelling before the deal is finalised, according to The Australian.
Among other measures, the government has reportedly made a concession to the Greens to allocate $2 billion annually from carbon tax revenues towards a renewable energy fund that will finance plans to sharply increase clean power use, according to Fairfax.
However, the deal is being challenged by an industry-led group calling itself the Australian Trade and Industry Alliance, which is planning a well-funded advertising campaign opposing the carbon tax deal.
Among members of the coalition is the Australian Food and Grocery Council, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Australian Coal Association, Australian Logistics Council, Plastics and Chemicals Industry and the Minerals Council of Australia, according to The Australian.