AGL to keep Loy Yang A running until mid-2035

Loy Yang power station in Victoria (grid)
Victoria’s Loy Yang Power Station (Image: Shutterstock)

AGL will keep Loy Yang A power station in the Latrobe Valley—widely dubbed Australia’s dirtiest power station—operational until mid-2035 under an agreement with Victorian Government.

AGL said it had entered a structured transition agreement with the Victorian Government for the operation, maintenance and retirement of Loy Yang A and nearby coal mine.

Related article: AGL brings forward closure of Loy Yang A and Bayswater

The news was met with criticism from environmentalists and health workers.

“Every year Loy Yang A stays open it kills dozens of people by producing toxic air pollution,” said Dr Harry Jennens, GP and Co-ordinator of health advocacy organisation Healthy Futures.

“Coal pollution causes heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, cancers, asthma exacerbations and affects the growth of babies in the womb. It also contributes to dangerous climate change, but even considering the toxic air pollution alone, replacing Loy Yang A with renewable energy by 2030 instead of 2035 would save hundreds of lives.”

Dr Benjamin Lewis, a GP anaesthetist in Gippsland, said, “Gippslanders are disproportionately affected by toxic air pollution from the coal power stations, and are also vulnerable to bushfires and other health impacts of climate change.

Related article: AGL opens 250MW grid-scale battery at Torrens Island 

“Today’s transition announcement is better than no plan at all, but we can and should save more lives by replacing coal with renewable energy by 2030 at the latest, which is why I’m supporting the Transform Renewable Energy Jobs Expo in Traralgon in October.”

“We urge the Victorian government and AGL to collaborate to ensure a full transition to renewable energy by 2030 that protects people’s health from toxic air pollution and dangerous climate change,” Dr Jennens said.

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