The outside of the Muja power station

Western Australian government to exit coal power with $1 billion green power push

The Western Australian government has ended its involvement in coal power, saying the state will exit the market before 2030 and pump billions into renewables and storage.

In a historic announcement this afternoon, Premier Mark McGowan and Energy Minister Bill Johnston revealed that state-owned electricity supplier Synergy will shut down its remaining coal-fired power plants by 2029.

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

He said that without change, household electricity bills could rise by around $1,200 a year by 2030.

Around 1,200 workers in Collie and surrounding areas will be affected by the decision, although the government, industry and unions aim to retrain or re-employ workers under a “just transition” scheme.

Mark McGowan says the government will spend $3.5 billion over 10 years to build renewable energy capacity to replace lost generation.(ABC News: Sam Bold)

Synergy currently owns and operates two coal-fired power stations, the 854 MW Muja power station and the 340 MW Collie asset, both located near Collie, approximately 200 km south of Perth.

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

Renewable projects to scale up

Under the decision announced on Tuesday, Collie will be closed by October 2027 while the remaining units of Muja will be closed two years later, by October 2029.

The exits will leave a working coal-fired power plant in WA – the Bluewaters Private Generator which is also near Collie.

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