Thank you for participating on the forum.
We are very aware of the local concerns about the potential environmental impacts of the project. We fully recognise these concerns and the strongly held views about the unique significance of the Ramsar wetlands in Western Port.
We operate the country’s largest private renewable electricity generation portfolio. We also operate the largest coal portfolio in Australia, so we realise we are integral to the move out of non-renewable energy. To deliver reliable and sustainable energy at the lowest cost possible requires renewable energy from wind and solar combined with more flexible energy sources, like quick-start gas generation, that can be turned on whenever renewables are not available or don’t meet demand.
This mix of technologies can replace AGL’s Liddell coal plant when it closes, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 7.5 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent per annum.
A secure gas supply is crucial to ensure there are no supply problems when we start to close coal generators, such as Liddell Power Station in 2022. Any major electricity supply problems could set back community support for a well-managed move out of coal based generation.
We are discussing the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions and the need to decarbonise the network here, if you would like to have input.
There are mixed views reported in the media about whether gas is needed or not which has made some members of the community question the rationale for the project.
The latest AEMO 2019 Gas Statement of Opportunities (GSOO), released on 28 March 2019, said the east coast gas market faces tight supply from 2021 and shortfalls from winter 2024 if more is not done to replace rapidly declining output from Bass Strait and supplies from Queensland limited by pipeline capacity.
As also mentioned in the ACCC Interim Report (released July 2018), ‘the demand for gas powered generators (GPG) is difficult to forecast accurately as it is dependent on factors such as rainfall, wind, renewal generation investment, unexpected retirement of generation or unplanned outages.’