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AGL Macquarie Power Stations

Learn about AGL in the Hunter Region of NSW.

AGL Macquarie power stations

AGL in the Hunter Region of NSW

The Hunter Region of NSW is home to the largest regional economy in Australia and is the State’s leading regional contributor to gross domestic product. The region spans 10 local government areas, with a population of more than 800,000.

The Lower Hunter and Greater Newcastle area is reinventing itself as a modern diverse city, distinct from its industrial, coal and steel heritage. Health care is now metropolitan Newcastle’s single largest sector, with retail, manufacturing and education other significant employers. Conversely, the Upper Hunter is heavily reliant on mining and power generation, and is recognised as a major supplier of coal, wine and thoroughbred horses to national and global markets. These industries have driven prosperity in the Upper Hunter, providing sustained economic growth, employment and investment in transport and associated infrastructure.

As the region enters a phase of transition, the economy is trending towards greater diversification. Transformation is anticipated through emerging technologies, alternative energy resources, high-technology primary industry and rural tourism.

Bayswater Power Station

Bayswater Power Station was commissioned in 1985, and its design reflected the progress and improvements in power generation technology. Four evaporative cooling towers stand out as the site's most distinctive feature.

Over recent years, Bayswater Power Station has produced approximately 15,000 GWh of electricity a year, enough power for two million average Australian homes and families and 20% of NSW electricity demand. 

Around 500 employees work at the 2715MW power station, plus teams of contractors for routine work and during maintenance outages.

In line with AGL’s Climate Transition Action Plan, released in 2022, Bayswater is scheduled for closure between 2030 - 2033.

Liddell Power Station and Liddell Transition

Liddell Power Station was commissioned in 1971, and for many years the 2000MW power station was the backbone of the NSW electricity system. It was the first of its kind to be located inland – far from the abundant saltwater supplies traditionally used for cooling purposes. As a result, Lake Liddell was constructed for cooling and water storage. (Note: Lake Liddell remains a key water asset for operation of Bayswater Power Station).

Following closure in April 2023, Liddell is now in a decommissioning and demolition phase - preparing the site for future use as part of the Hunter Energy Hub.

Liddell demolition

The animation below provides an overview of the process to safely demolish Liddell Power Station and associated infrastructure.

Demolition is expected to commence in early 2025.

Renewable Projects

Muswellbrook Pumped Hydro Project

Muswellbrook Pumped Hydro Pty Ltd is a joint venture, between AGL and Idemitsu Australia. The Project is exploring an innovative model whereby an existing mine void at Idemitsu’s Muswellbrook Coal mine acts as the lower reservoir and nearby Bells Mountain is proposed as the location for the upper reservoir for a pumped hydro system that will provide up to 500 megawatts (MW) of electricity-generating capacity and up to eight hours of energy storage.

In 2022, Muswellbrook Pumped Hydro Pty Ltd, was awarded $9.45 million funding under the NSW Government’s Pumped Hydro Recoverable Grants Program to advance development studies to a stage where the project is ready for investment. The grant funding is being used to complete a targeted geotechnical due diligence program, detailed project design and connection studies to prepare the project for an investment decision.

Following lodgement of the Project Scoping Report in December 2023, the Department of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure has issued the Planning Secretary’s environmental assessment requirements (SEARs) for the project.

Further details are available on the NSW Planning Portal.

Liddell Battery

The Liddell Battery is a 500 MW, two-hour duration, grid scale battery to be located on the former Liddell Power Station site.

Construction work for the battery is planned to begin in early 2024, with the commencement of operations targeted for mid-2026. Approximately 100 jobs will be created during construction, with 3 jobs ongoing for the expected asset life of 20 years.

The total construction cost is estimated to be approximately $750 million. Fluence has been selected as the preferred engineering, procurement and construction provider.

The project will be supported by both a $35 million grant awarded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) as part of its Advancing Renewables Program and a Long-Term Energy Service Agreement (LTESA), arranged by AEMO Services on behalf of the NSW Government.

This will be the first new development to be built as part of our Hunter Energy Hub after Liddell was safely and respectfully retired in April 2023.

Hunter Energy Hub

Since the announcement of closure dates for Liddell and Bayswater, AGL has also been working with relevant business, government and educational institutions to identify new investment prospects, encourage economic diversification and create new employment opportunities in the Hunter.

Extensive planning and consultation is progressing for redevelopment of the Liddell and Bayswater site into the Hunter Energy Hub, using the existing land, water, transport and energy infrastructure.

Construction is underway for a 500 MW/2GWh grid scale battery on the Liddell site, and a number of MOUs have been signed with potential project partners:

Bringing Hunter Energy Hub to life

This animation provides an overview of our site transformation vision and Hunter Energy Hub plans.

Apprenticeships

Are you ready to power progress?

It’s an extraordinary time for the energy sector and at AGL, and we need extraordinary people to meet the challenges.

Apply now for an apprenticeship with AGL at Bayswater Power Station.

Our Apprenticeship Program

We are one of the largest employers and trainers of apprentices in the Hunter Region.

Hundreds of young people have started their careers with us.

Our 2024 Apprenticeship Program offers positions in the following trades:

  • Electrical
  • Mechanical
  • Metal Fabrication

The program includes classroom based and on-the-job training, and the opportunity to learn from some of the most experienced tradespeople in the Hunter Region.

It also offers:

  • Experience in maintenance workshops across Liddell and Bayswater sites
  • A comprehensive tool kit – Purchased over 4 years interest free
  • Electricity and gas discounts
  • Exposure to other AGL sites and electricity generation technologies.

An apprenticeship with AGL at Bayswater Power Station can open the door to employment opportunities well beyond the Hunter Region.

How to Apply

If you are motivated, ambitious, focused on safety, can communicate well and enjoy working in a team … you are exactly who we are looking for.

To apply, visit www.agl.com.au/careers

AGL has a strong commitment to gender diversity, and we encourage females to consider applying for our apprenticeships.

Applications close 16/06/2024

Community complaints and enquiries

AGL understands that we don’t always get it right, and we want to be informed when we don’t. If you would like to provide any feedback, good or bad, or simply ask some questions, please feel free to get in touch via the following channels:

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Complaints and Enquiries Hotline

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Mail

AGL Community Complaints & Enquiries,
Locked Bag 14120 MCMC,
Melbourne VIC 8001

Learn more  about how we handle general customer complaints on our complaints page.