The Nationals may want to see a new coal-fired plant built in the Hunter but in the meantime companies are lining up to build grid scale storage batteries and a gas generator.
Kurri Kurri is the preferred site for both the gas generator and the grid scale battery which CEP.Energy (CEP) today announced it will build with capacity up to 1200MW within the Hunter Economic Zone (HEZ) precinct under a new 30 year lease agreement with the Hunter Investment Corporation.
This battery would be the largest asset in CEP's planned network of four grid-scale batteries across the country, with total capacity up to 2000MW.
It is also the largest proposed grid-scale battery in the world today, with potential capacity up to eight times that of the grid-scale battery operating in Hornsdale, South Australia.
Peter Wright, CEO of CEP.Energy, said the business is on track to become the largest battery storage asset owner in the Australian energy market. "
"CEP's grid-scale battery network is part of our dual-track strategy to generate and store clean, reliable and cost-effective electricity for Australian businesses, and make excess power available to the national grid to firm up the increase in renewable generation," he said.
"To achieve this, we have secured strategic locations with excellent access to existing network connection infrastructure. The HEZ site is zoned for heavy industrial use, pre-approved for power generation and located adjacent to an Ausgrid sub-station. It is among the best handful of sites in Australia for reliable and efficient grid connection,"
Morris Iemma, Chairman of CEP.Energy, said integrated grid-scale battery networks are accelerating Australia's transition to a clean energy future.
"Big batteries, including the one planned by CEP.Energy for the Hunter, will play a major role in filling the gaps left by the gradual retirement of coal and gas-fired generation assets, including the nearby Liddell Power Station," Mr Iemma said.
"This project will help ensure the Hunter region of NSW remains true to its heritage as one of the nation's energy powerhouses as we work towards a cleaner, decarbonised future."
As to gas fired generator the NSW government will fast-track the planning approvals process fCritical State Significant Infrastructure' status to a project.
The gas-fired power station, which would provide up to 750MW of new generation capacity, has been proposed for construction at the site of the former aluminium smelter.
As the The Nationals plans according to One Nation they walked away from the proposal.
With he return of Federal Parliament this week One Nation said the Nationals voted against their party's motion in the Senate to construct a new coal fired power station in the Hunter.
One Nation's Senator Malcolm Roberts said, "The Nationals just walked away from the Hunter Valley coal industry and should be ashamed of themselves for their duplicity. This decision shows no support for the coal industry."
The National's Manufacturing Policy, released in January states on page 18 that "Australia needs to build modern coal fired power stations...the Government should also support a new coal fired power station in the Hunter Valley.
Senator Roberts said, "The Nationals, having spruiked about building coal fired powers stations on social media and in their glossy policy, have this week shown Australia this was just talk.
AGL announces $2.7 billion writedown
Yesterday in a release to the ASX AGL said due to the longterm deterioration of the wholesale energy market they would be recognising charges costing $2.686 billion.
The costs where incurred due to their early foray into wind farms plus environmental restoration costs including the remediation of the coal-fired power generators, locally Liddell and Bayswater, as they close.
AGL CEO Brett Redman said the company expects a "sustained and material" reduction in wholesale power prices as a result of policy measures to underwrite new build of electricity generation, and lower technology costs, which will lead to increased supply.
"As Australia's largest energy retailer and largest generator of electricity, we continue to see material opportunities for AGL to participate in the energy transition as customer needs, community expectations and technology evolve," Mr Redman said
"Notwithstanding these charges, our broad and diverse portfolio of electricity generation assets will continue to have a vital role to play in enabling the transition of the energy system."