Genesis Energy to shut down New Zealand’s last big coal plant

Published 01:55 on August 6, 2015  /  Last updated at 02:31 on August 7, 2015  /  Asia Pacific, New Zealand  /  No Comments

Genesis Energy will permanently retire the last two coal-fired units at Huntly power station by December 2018, the company announced Thursday, cutting CO2 emissions by some 2-5 million tonnes per year.

Genesis Energy will permanently retire the last two coal-fired units at Huntly power station by December 2018, the company announced Thursday.

The plant is New Zealand’s last large-scale coal-fired power generator, and its retirement will take the country closer to reaching its target of generating 90% of its electricity from renewable sources, the company said.

“The development of lower cost renewable generation, principally wind and geothermal, investment in the HVDC link, and relatively flat growth in consumer and industrial demand for electricity have combined to reinforce the decision to retire the remaining Rankine units, which will deliver further operational efficiencies to Genesis Energy,” said chief executive Albert Brantley.

At peak capacity, the plant emitted some 5 million tonnes per year, but that fell to 2.3 million tonnes in financial year 2015, the company said, still making Genesis one of the biggest emitters in the New Zealand ETS.

By midday, spot NZUs remained unchanged on OM Financial’s CommTrade at NZ$6.95.

The power station will continue to run on natural gas, Genesis said.

The first version of this story mistakenly said the shutdown would cut emissions 2-5 million tonnes of CO2 per year, but the actual impact from cutting the coal-fired units is smaller than that.

By Stian Reklev – stian@carbon-pulse.com

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