South Australia’s gas-fired Torrens Island B Power station will close in 2026, and experts say the state government needs to create more renewable storage options to help with the reliability of electricity
AGL said Torren Island B will no longer be viable when a $2.4 million dollar electricity interconnector between SA and NSW is complete in mid-2026.
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AGL chief operating officer Markus Brokhof said the closure was not an easy decision.
“The economic situation of the Torrens Island Power Station was very critical,” Brokhof said.
“We are losing money with this power station in the current environment.”
Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said the closure will not affect the supply of power to South Australians.
AGL said 120 jobs would be affected by the closure, however, it’s unclear how many of the workers will be made redundant.
“We will make sure there’s not only a proper energy transition but also a proper transition of our workforce,” Brokhof said.
The Torrens Island B power station opened in 1976 providing 800 megawatts of electricity for SA consumers.
However, the company mothballed the first of four generating units in October last year, after years of increased solar and wind energy supplies.
The remaining three units will be retired on June 30, 2026.
Victoria Energy Policy Centre director Professor Bruce Mountain said the closure was anticipated and the power station had not been a significant source of energy for South Australia for a while.
“I don’t think there is any reason to be concerned about the (national) grid with the Torrens Island closure,” Mountain said.
He said it will be critical for South Australia to transition away from gas to renewables and increase storage options to decrease electricity prices and ensure that the reliability of electricity in South Australia is not dependent on interconnectors.
“You can easily build the storage capacity, and what’s the government doing to bring that about sooner?” Mountain asked.
“Why is the government not taking up the challenge?”
The Australian Services Union SA and NT branch secretary Abbie Spencer said AGL should guarantee new jobs for the power station’s workforce amid hopes Torrens Island will become a low carbon industrial energy hub.
“The state government should have learnt the lessons from the closure of the Augusta power stations,” Spencer said.
“Where is the South Australian plan for a just transition for energy workers, like the plans announced by Labor governments in Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia?“
– with AAP