News that AGL’s Loy Yang A coal-burning power station will be offline until September, on top of additional outages at its Bayswater and Liddell stations, shows the need for AGL to rapidly embrace renewable energy in order to reduce its climate pollution and help bring down prices for Australian households, Greenpeace Australia Pacific says.

Loy Yang A Power Station in Victoria
Loy Yang A is a brown coal fired thermal power station owned by AGL Energy in the La Trobe Valley in Victoria, Australia. It was commissioned in 1985 and is due to close by 2048, which is well beyond what scientists are calling for in order to prevent further catastrophic climate change (2030). AGL Energy is Australia’s single largest climate polluter.

AGL today revealed the Loy Yang A generator fault, which was initially pegged to cause an outage through to 1 August, will now last through to the second half of September[1] during the peak of Victorian winter energy demand. This is on top of unit outages at AGL’s Bayswater and Liddell power stations, with around 25 per cent of coal power capacity in the National Electricity Market currently broken down or offline. 

It comes as the spectacular fallout from AGL’s demerger continues, with the beleaguered energy company today revealing the resignation of Christine Corbett, the CEO-designate of the proposed demerged AGL Australia. 

Glenn Walker, Greenpeace Australia Pacific senior campaigner, said AGL’s poor corporate governance and reliance on ageing, unreliable coal-burning power stations is now having a direct impact on cost of living for Australian households. 

“Today’s news shows AGL’s disastrous mismanagement has gone from the company’s boardroom to the living rooms of their customers, with Loy Yang A’s extended outage contributing to spiralling energy prices for consumers. 

“Coal is the dirty rat eating away at household wallets, and if AGL had their way, we’d have a plague.

“Rather than act in line with the energy transition, AGL instead wasted years and millions of dollars on a dodgy demerger which was never going to work. The results are now plain to see – crumbling assets which cannot deliver the energy Australia needs, and a delay in embracing cleaner, cheaper renewable alternatives.

“Australia’s biggest energy company now has more than half of its fleet of coal-fired power generation offline. This is a flagrant demonstration of the fundamental failure of coal, the extent to which AGL’s leadership had their heads buried in the sand, and the urgent need to transition to cleaner, cheaper renewable energy. 

“AGL has a clear mandate to seize the urgent and enormous opportunity of the energy transition. The company must appoint new board members that will bring clarity and action, helping to steer AGL into a brighter and greener future.”