New Zealand marks end to coal power

The last two coal-fired power units in New Zealand is to close in the next three years. Genesis Energy said its coal-burning electricity generators at Huntly Power Station will be […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

The last two coal-fired power units in New Zealand is to close in the next three years.

Genesis Energy said its coal-burning electricity generators at Huntly Power Station will be permanently withdrawn from the market by December 2018.

Chief Executive Albert Brantley said one of the reasons is the reduced costs of renewable energy.

He added: “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.”

The company expects the closure of the two units to save up to NZD$25 million (£10.7m) in operational and capital costs and cut carbon emissions.

At their peak, the units emitted 5,000 kilotonnes of CO2 – amounting to around 5% of New Zealand’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

The Huntly site will continue generating electricity from the two existing gas-fired units, which have a total capacity of 450MW.