Synergy coal power stations including Muja to close as WA Government prioritises renewable energy

Western Australia’s government has called time on its involvement in coal power, declaring the state will exit the market before 2030 and plough billions of dollars into renewable energy and storage.

In a landmark announcement this afternoon, Premier Mark McGowan and Energy Minister Bill Johnston revealed state-owned power provider Synergy would shut its remaining coal-fired plants by 2029.

Mr McGowan said the change was needed because the proliferation of renewable energy sources meant coal power was becoming more expensive.

He said without a shift, household power bills could rise by around $1,200 a year by 2030.

About 1,200 staff from Collie and the surrounding areas will be affected by the decision, although the government, industry and unions are aiming to retrain or re-employ workers as part of a “just transition” program.

Mark McGowan speaks into microphones and Bill Johnston stands behind him in front of the power plant
Mark McGowan says the government will spend $3.5 billion over 10 years building renewable energy capacity to replace the lost generation.(ABC News: Sam Bold)

Synergy currently owns and runs two coal power stations, the 854MW Muja plant and the 340MW Collie asset, both of which are near Collie about 200km south of Perth.

The government had already announced its planned closure of dates of October this year and 2024 for some older units at Muja.

Renewable projects to ramp up

Under the decision announced today, Collie will be closed by October 2027 while the remaining units at Muja will be shuttered just two years later, by October 2029.

The exits will leave one coal-fired power plant operating in WA – the privately-owned Bluewaters generator which is also near Collie.

Posted , updated 

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