The region’s peak policy and advocacy voice for business has today expressed significant concern over the prospect of Origin Energy closing Eraring Power Station in 2025, saying the impacts on business and industry as well as the workforce that services its operation will face an uncertain future.
Business Hunter says it has been canvassing businesses across the region over a long period of time and through the release of the Energy Roadmap, and knows that there are huge gaps and risks for business and industry in accessing reliable, dispatchable power supply at affordable prices. Bringing forward closure of the state’s largest coal fired energy supplier will only widen that gap and will create more uncertainty for the market.
Business Hunter CEO, Bob Hawes said that the timing to transition from coal fired power to renewables as the underlying source of energy was still way off.
“Quite frankly, the commercial interest in renewable baseload power supply that have been reported in recent days are just that – registrations of interest, not power projects ready to commission in three years,” Mr Hawes said.
We’re also mindful of energy workforces that need to be aware of new and emerging power generating infrastructure as a potential future employment opportunity and the early closure of Eraring will make this more acute.
“Our conversations with industry over at least the last five years have highlighted concerns about continuity of power supply for big power users in the Hunter, many of which are medium sized enterprise – the dial hasn’t shifted very far in five years and today’s announcement makes this even more difficult.”
“The news of the battery installation is of course welcomed but far from a like for like replacement of the generative capacity of the existing power station.
“We’ll be working hard to understand the full consequences of change should Origin confirm its decision, but we do have businesses out there right now that will be very concerned about what the future holds and whether power supply certainty and affordability will fall off a cliff in 2025.”