AGL claimed in August 2017 that it had more than 3.6 million residential and business customer accounts across New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Queensland. AGL entered the residential and commercial gas market in Western Australia in July 2017. It has large investments in the supply of gas and electricity, and is Australia's largest private owner, operator and developer of renewable energy assets.
AGL is Australia's largest electricity generator, and the nation's largest carbon emitter.
The Australian Gas Light Company was formed in Sydney, New South Wales in 1837, and supplied town gas for the first public lighting of a street lamp in Sydney in 1841. AGL was the second company to list on the Sydney Stock Exchange. The company gradually diversified into electricity and into a number of different locations.
ActewAGL, a joint venture between the Australian Gas Light Company and ACTEW Corporation, a government-owned enterprise of the ACT Government, was formed in October 2000 as Australia's first utility joint venture. Twenty-five per cent owned by AGL Energy, ActewAGL provides electricity, natural gas, and telecommunication services to business and residential customers in the Australian Capital Territory and south-east New South Wales.
In New South Wales, in September 2014 AGL Energy acquired Macquarie Generation from the New South Wales Government for $1.5 billion. Macquarie Generation's assets included the 2,640 MW Bayswater Power Station, the 2,000 MW Liddell Power Station, the 50 MW Hunter Valley Gas Turbines and the Liddell Solar Thermal Project. From the two thermal coal power stations and two oil-fired gas turbines, Macquarie Generation supplies approximately 12% of the National Electricity Market and 30% of the New South Wales electricity market. In early stages, Macquarie has commenced development of solar thermal power as a renewable source of energy.
AGL announced in April 2015 and reaffirmed in September 2017 that it intends to close the Liddell Power Station in 2022. The closure of this and other coal-burning power stations in Australia has led to the Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull, to seek advice from the Australian Energy Market Operator on extending the life of a number of them, to head off future power shortages. Turnbull said the government had been advised that if the Liddell plant were to close in 2022, there would be a 1,000 MW gap in base load, dispatchable power generation.
In 2018, AGL was among 17 energy businesses that supported the launch of the Energy Charter, a global initiative aimed at bringing together all parts of the power supply chain to give customers more affordable and reliable energy.
Operations and significant assets
AGL has a diverse power generation portfolio—including base, peaking and intermediate generation plants—spread across traditional thermal generation as well as renewable sources including hydro and wind. The following tables listing significant assets are based on AGL's 2016 Annual Report.
Coal- and gas-fired power stations
|Bayswater Power Station||NSW||2,640 megawatts (3,540,000 hp)|
|Liddell Power Station
(to close 2022)
|NSW||2,000 megawatts (2,700,000 hp)|
|Loy Yang A Power Station||VIC||2,225 megawatts (2,984,000 hp)|
|Torrens Island Power Station||SA||1,280 megawatts (1,720,000 hp)|
|Barker Inlet Power Station||SA||210 megawatts (280,000 hp)|
|Somerton Power Station (Gas turbines)||VIC||160 megawatts (210,000 hp)|
50% interest – not operated by AGL
|QLD||121 megawatts (162,000 hp)
(50% of 242 MW)
|Dartmouth Hydroelectric Power Station||VIC||180 megawatts (240,000 hp)|
|Eildon Hydroelectric Power Station||VIC||120 megawatts (160,000 hp)|||
|Hallet Wind Farms (1,2,4 & 5)||SA||350 megawatts (470,000 hp)|
|Kiewa Hydroelectric Scheme||VIC||391 megawatts (524,000 hp)|
|Macarthur Wind Farm
(50%, sold 2015)
|VIC||420 megawatts (560,000 hp)|
|VIC||63 megawatts (84,000 hp)|
|Broken Hill Solar Plant||NSW||53 megawatts (71,000 hp)|
|Nyngan Solar Plant||NSW||102 megawatts (137,000 hp)|
|Coopers Gap Wind Farm
|QLD||453 megawatts (607,000 hp)|||
|Silverton Wind Farm
|NSW||200 megawatts (270,000 hp)|||
|Newcastle Gas Storage||NSW||1.5 petajoules (0.42×109 kWh)|
|Silver Springs Gas Storage||QLD||35 petajoules (9.7×109 kWh)|
Upstream gas projects
In 2015 the EPA ordered the suspension of AGL's Gloucester operations after finding toxic chemicals had been introduced into Hunter Water's systems. The EPA subsequently found no "evidence of harm to the environment or pollution of waters" and AGL was allowed to continue its Gloucester operations.
In February 2016, AGL announced that exploration and production of natural gas assets would no longer be a core business for the company. This announcement included clarification that AGL would not proceed with the Gloucester gas project and that it would cease production at the Camden Gas Project in South West Sydney in 2023, twelve years earlier than previously proposed.
AGL has implemented a decommissioning and rehabilitation program for its well sites and other infrastructure in the Gloucester region. In November 2016, AGL commenced the progressive decommissioning and rehabilitation of wells at the Camden site.
Power generation projects in development
Coopers Gap Wind Farm
In August 2017, it was announced that the Coopers Gap Wind Farm would proceed to construction, with AGL securing funding from the Powering Australian Renewables Fund. When completed the 453 MW Coopers Gap Wind Farm will be the largest in Australia.
The final wind turbine at the Coopers Gap Wind Farm was completed in April 2020.
Silverton Wind Farm
Barker Inlet Power Station
In June 2017, AGL announced the development of a new $295 million gas-fired generator in South Australia. The Barker Inlet Power Station, will replace two of the four Torrens Island A turbines which are expected to be decommissioned in late 2020. The island's B turbines will continue to operate as usual.
The Barker Inlet Power Station was officially completed and handed over to AGL in early 2020.
Crib Point Gas Import Jetty
In August 2017, Crib Point Import Jetty was announced as the preferred location for a new terminal importing gas from other markets. The project is expected to cost $250 million, with construction expected to commence in 2021.
Kanmantoo pumped hydro
In April 2019, AGL announced that it had acquired the right to develop a pumped hydroelectric energy storage project in the mined-out main pit of the Kanmantoo mine on the eastern side of the Adelaide Hills in South Australia. The project is expected to be capable of storing and generating 250MW of electricity from 2024.
In early 2020, AGL announced that it would not be proceeding with the Kanmantoo Pumped Hydro project.
Powering Australian Renewables Fund
In February 2016, AGL announced the creation of the Powering Australian Renewables Fund. The Powering Australian Renewables Fund or PARF, will own and develop more than 1,000MW of large-scale renewable energy projects to support Australia's renewable energy capacity and transition to a low-carbon economy. Once fully invested, PARF expects to own approximately 10% of Australia's renewable energy capacity.
In June 2016, QIC and the Future Fund joined AGL as investors in the Powering Australian Renewables Fund.
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