A (very slight) delay to closure of Liddell unit 4 … but LD01 and LD02 slightly earlier

It’s crunch time for the closure of the 3 remaining units at Liddell this week and next week, which is generating a significant number of news articles (amongst other things).  Some of these articles are referencing prior articles on WattClarity about the unit, including these ones:

1)  On 31st January 2023 Allan O’Neil wrote ‘Farewell Liddell’, in using the GSD2022 to mark the fast-approaching end of service life for the 3 remaining units at AGL Energy’s Liddell power station.

2)  On 20th February 2023 we wrote about ‘Current expectation for closure dates of Liddell and Eraring Power Stations’ and noting two things:

(a)  I noted that the closure dates at the time for the Liddell units were as follows:

i.   Liddell unit 4 closes first … on Wednesday 19th April 2023

ii.  Liddell unit 2 closes next … on Tuesday 25th April 2023

iii.  Liddell unit 1 closes last … on Saturday 29th April 2023.

(b)  but I also noted that:

‘As noted in Allan’s article, it’s curtains for Liddell’s 3 remaining units within weeks – and there are good reasons for doing so … but useful for all readers here to understand the implications of the fact that we’re closing Liddell imminently at a time when NSW has consistently been a net importer of energy from VIC and QLD.

… this was Key Observation #2 within the GenInsights Quarterly Update for Q4 2022 released last week’

3)  On 17th March 2023 we wrote about ‘Actual LOR2, and a run of volatility in NSW and QLD … only 34 days till the closure of Liddell unit 4’ and noted the following:

‘All of this and it’s only 34 days from the scheduled closure of Liddell unit 4 on Wednesday 19th April 2023 (with unit 2 and then unit 1 to follow in rapid succession).  I expect there will be a number of direct conversations happening about all of this in the coming days within Market Participants, Energy User Representatives, Government Departments and so on…

4)  Then on 21st March 2023 we wrote ‘Reviewing what happened in NSW and QLD on Thursday 16th March 2023 (with Actual LOR2, Volatility and Reserve Trader almost triggered, etc) … part 1’ and noted:

‘At Monday 6th March 2023, the scheduled closure of Liddell Unit 4  on Wednesday 19th April 2023 was 44 days away (with unit 2 and then unit 1 to follow in rapid succession).

…  Just over a week later (on Thursday 16th March) the NSW and QLD region experienced more severe stresses:

1)   With both QLD and NSW experiencing ‘Actual LOR2’-level Low Reserve Conditions; and

2)  Significant price volatility; and

3)  AEMO geared up to pull the trigger on Short-Notice RERT

… which, whilst that did not actually eventuate, should still resonate with readers as a pretty extreme measure, and a reflection of what we wrote a number of years ago now (in the GRC2018) about ‘the level of risk is increasing in the NEM’.

As noted here on the day, it was then with only 34 days till the closure of Liddell unit 4.  As I hit publish now, we’re only 29 days till the closure of Liddell unit 4.

Whilst there are very good reasons why Liddell is closing (including emissions, but also those Allan wrote about here with reference to the GSD2022), what’s happened this week could be seen as reinforcement of the fact that we in the energy sector, collectively, have not covered ourselves in glory in the 7 years since AGL first announced the closure of Liddell was scheduled for 2022.’


In a conversation with a new ez2view client this morning I was talking with them about the ‘Generator Outages’ widget and noticed that the most recent MT PASA DUID Availability data set for Liddell Unit 4 shows that the unit might still be operating on Thursday, contrary to the above.  Here’s a view of the widget at 12:55 today:


Two quick notes on this image:

1)  I’ve highlighted that now we see Liddell unit 4 having non-zero availability out until this Saturday 22nd April 2023:

(a)  Indicating it might be now intended to come offline Friday evening or Saturday morning;

(b)  This is according to MT PASA DUID Availability data published at 18:00 on Saturday 15th April;

(c)  I wondered when that change was made?

2)  Also highlighted in what appears to be a forced outage at Bayswater unit 1 that was not forecast in prior MT PASA DUID Availability data.

To answer the question about the slightly changed expectations, I opened up the ‘Forecast Convergence’ widget, with some ‘new to ez2view v9.6’ functionality to enable the widget to look through progressive MT PASA DUID Availability data as follows:


Remembering this widget allows the user to ‘look up a vertical’ to see ‘that other dimension of time‘, I have highlighted:

1)  The forecast made on 20th February 2023 when the expected closure date was late on Wednesday 19th; and

2)  Changes in data bid by AGL Energy beginning Friday 14th April to slightly extend the unit’s life.

So we’ll have to wait a few more days to pop the champagne corks…


PS1 … but one day earlier for Liddell unit 2 and Liddell unit 1

Dylan McConnell noted the counter-movements at the other two units via this Tweet:


… so the celebrations can be more combined.

About the Author

Paul McArdle
One of three founders of Global-Roam back in 2000, Paul has been CEO of the company since that time. As an author on WattClarity, Paul's focus has been to help make the electricity market more understandable.

2 Comments on "A (very slight) delay to closure of Liddell unit 4 … but LD01 and LD02 slightly earlier"

  1. A bit of uncertainty is hardly surprising. Will be all about getting the last of the coal yard cleaned up, as many coal bunkers cleaned out as safely possible and maybe even some slops out of the fuel oil tanks used up. Get rid of as much as possible rather than trying to clean it up as part of the decommissioning process.
    Good luck for winter guys. Taking another GW of dispatchable generating capacity out of what was already an uncomfortably tight winter last year…..

  2. Why would anybody be “popping champagne corks”?
    No doubt the demolition will start the day after shutdown – to ensure there is no way back.
    Surely prudence dictates a period of (perhaps 12 months) care-and-maintenance before declaring that the entire grid is stable and maintainable.

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