Today, AGL’s Liddell power station, situated on Wonnarua land, will celebrate 50 years of operation, with current and former employees coming together to mark the milestone and recognise the significant role the station has played in Australia’s energy security.
Five decades after the first unit was commissioned, the Liddell power station continues to provide electricity to hundreds of thousands of Australians every day.
AGL Chief Operating Officer, Markus Brokhof said the station has ensured reliable, affordable and safe electricity as well as being a critical anchor in the Hunter community.
“I am honoured to be among more than 450 Liddell enthusiasts celebrating their work and contribution to the community over 50 years,” Mr Brokhof said.
“Over Liddell’s lifespan, thousands of employees have come through its gates, helping to generate more than 400 million mega-watt hours (MWh) of electricity.
“Annually, the station produces enough energy to power more than one million average Australian homes.
“As we move towards Liddell’s closure, I want to reaffirm our strong commitment to supporting our Liddell workforce and the Upper Hunter.
“We are currently developing plans for an Energy Hub at Liddell which will include solar storage systems, grid-scale batteries and a waste to energy facility.
“Liddell and the people who have operated it have been the backbone of the electricity grid and we’re committed to seeing this site continue its legacy in the next phase of its life.
“From all of us at AGL, our gratitude and congratulations to everyone who has been part of this journey.”
Starting work at Liddell in 1979, Operator Steve Lanesbury, said the station just keeps on giving.
“It’s a Liddell thing. For me, it’s forged a lot of friendships and created a lot of unforgettable memories,” Mr Lanesbury said.
“She is to go on until ‘23, up until then I hope she will just keep on giving like she has for the past 50 years.”
Eli Serhan was amongst the early apprentices when he walked on site in 1971.
Mr Serhan said the anniversary had prompted him to reflect on the memories he had created over his years at Liddell.
“I’ve had so many opportunities since starting as an electrical apprentice at Liddell and seeing the first unit come online in 1971,” Mr Serhan said.
“Being from a migrant family, my work at Liddell allowed me to grow and develop a rewarding career while providing a secure lifestyle for my loved ones.
“I am proud to still be part of Liddell’s story, serving the energy industry and keeping the lights on.”
The Liddell power station was the first of its kind, located inland and included construction of Lake Liddell, to support the station’s water storage and cooling requirements.