Environment Victoria has today described the closure of the Energy Brix power station in the Latrobe Valley as the beginning of the end for Victoria’s oldest and dirtiest power stations. HRL has today announced it will close the 170 MW Energy Brix power station near Morwell.
Environment Victoria CEO Mark Wakeham said today:
“While this is the first coal-fired power station to close in Victoria for decades, it won’t be the last.
“Victoria and the National Electricity Market are currently flooded with a massive oversupply of inflexible, baseload power generation as electricity use has fallen in recent years.
“AGL has suggested that 9000 MW of coal generation is no longer needed and should be withdrawn from the national electricity market. By comparison Victoria’s 6 coal-fired power stations have around 6500 MW of capacity.
“With renewable energy and energy efficiency continuing to make inroads we can expect to see further closures of brown coal generation, with Anglesea power station or units at Yallourn or Hazelwood the next most likely to be withdrawn from service.”
“The decision by HRL to close Energy Brix highlights the lack of a plan for the orderly closure of Victoria’s oldest and dirtiest power stations. Unfortunately with the State and Federal Governments walking away from conversations about planned closure of power stations, communities like the Latrobe Valley are now at the mercy of the market.”
“The closure of Energy Brix will be a bitter pill for affected workers. It highlights that the Napthine Government’s failure to see a future for the Latrobe Valley beyond coal is a mistake which effectively strands the local community and workers when the transition away from coal inevitably happens.”
“In the lead up to the State election we need to leave behind the quarry vision of the Latrobe Valley and see clear policies from all parties for cleaning up our power supply and attracting clean energy investment to regional areas.”
Mr Wakeham concluded by saying the State Government should require the full rehabilitation of the power station and briquette factory.
“It’s critical that HRL doesn’t just walk away from this site and leave the local community with a hazard. One way of securing local jobs in the Valley would be to ensure that both the briquette and power station sites are fully rehabilitated and made good for other uses.”