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Mr Premier, don’t forget Bayswater: Layzell

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Upper Hunter MP Dave Layzell is reminding the state’s leader to not forget Bayswater Power Station in his energy security planning.

With the neighbouring Liddell facility now closed, and Lake Macquarie’s Eraring reportedly receiving a stay of execution, the local member has called on NSW Premier Chris Minns to ensure the Muswellbrook plant is part of the government’s “Plan B”.

Bayswater’s owner, AGL, has revealed its strategy to wind up its remaining Upper Hunter coal-fired generating asset between 2030 and the end of 2033.

“I urge the Premier and the Minister for Energy Penny Sharpe to have a diversified approach rather than putting all of NSW’s eggs in the Eraring ‘basket’ to keep the lights on,” Mr Layzell said.

“When I wrote to Upper Hunter constituents after this year’s NSW Election, I made it clear that despite the closure of the Liddell Power Station, we should also remain focussed on the future of Bayswater.

“If the government’s advice is that generation capacity might get tight, then I want it to work with AGL.

“Together, they can ensure Bayswater remains operational until the transition to renewable energy can be carried out free of the risk of blackouts.”

AGL previously indicated it would continue to work with state and federal governments to safeguard a “balanced and responsible transition”.

Mr Layzell argued that even though the company was progressing its plan for a Hunter Energy Hub, which included the Liddell battery and Muswellbrook Pumped Hydro project, Bayswater should not be discarded if it could still fulfil a role in the National Electricity Market.

“AGL is currently spending $120 million on maintenance at the Upper Hunter power station,” he said.

“That’s a welcome injection to ensure the reliability of electricity supply and a boost for the region’s economy.

“It continues the significant investment that AGL has made there over the past six years with maintenance work in the order of approximately $400 million since 2017.

“If the company’s stewardship of the almost 40-year-old power plant has it in a sound operating condition then ensuring Bayswater’s longevity should be part of NSW’s plan for energy security.”

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