THE New South Wales Government will spend $83 million on a dual fuel capable hydrogen/gas power plant in Illawarra to help replace the Liddell Power Station before its closure in 2023.
Minister for Energy Matt Kean said the ‘Tallawarra B’ project will provide more than 300 megawatts of dispatchable capacity after Liddell retires.
“New South Wale’s Energy Security Target is the tightest reliability target in the country and this project will help make sure that we achieve that even after Liddell has closed,” Mr Kean said.
“This project sets a new benchmark for how gas generators can be consistent with New South Wale’s plan to be net-zero by 2050 by using green hydrogen and offsetting residual emissions,” he said.
Deputy Premier John Barilaro said the Upper Hunter is likely to receive similar projects in the future, with a local Future Fund advisory committee on the cards after the by-election.
“When it comes to the Upper Hunter, gas firming, hydrogen, industries that spin-off that, biomass, waste to energy, it’s all part of the future when we talk about transition,” Mr Barilaro said.
“The reality is that a lot of the businesses and industries that will transition in this region probably will still be energy-based or resource-based businesses. What we see at Tallawara B, the opportunities for that in the Upper Hunter with places like Liddell coming offline, the infrastructure is there and it’s something I’m focused on,” he said.
“There’s no timeline because there are no applicants. Kurri Kurri has a gas plant in play, which the Feds are looking at. Outside of that, we’ll work with industries as we look to the future,” he said.
“Because we’ve announced the Future Fund, money set aside to support businesses, businesses are now reaching out to us to understand how they find more work. I want to engage with community industries, unions, local Councils and then we’ll decide how we support businesses. We’ll have more to say about the fund and who will be on the panel after the by-election,” Mr Barilaro said.
Under the $83 million funding agreement, Energy Australia has offered to buy 200,000 kilograms of green hydrogen per year, which is equivalent to more than five percent of the plant’s fuel use from 2025.
EnergyAustralia will also offset direct carbon emissions from the project throughout its operational life and invest in engineering studies on the potential to upgrade Tallawarra B so it can use more green hydrogen in its fuel mix in the future.
EnergyAustralia Managing Director, Catherine Tanna, said the project will help deliver on the company’s ambition to lead the transition to a cleaner energy future.
“Customers expect affordable, reliable and cleaner sources of energy from providers and Tallawarra B delivers this to households and businesses in the Illawarra region and New South Wales,” Ms Tanna said.