Liddell Power Station

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Liddell Power Station
Liddell Power Station.jpg
Country Australia
Location New South Wales
Coordinates 32°22′19″S 150°58′38″E / 32.37194°S 150.97722°E / -32.37194; 150.97722Coordinates: 32°22′19″S 150°58′38″E / 32.37194°S 150.97722°E / -32.37194; 150.97722
Status Baseload
Commission date 1971-1973
Owner(s) AGL Energy
Thermal power station
Primary fuel coal
Secondary fuel oil
Type Steam turbine
gas turbine
Power generation
Units operational 4 × 500 megawatts (670,000 hp)
2 × 25 megawatts (34,000 hp)
1 × 0.85 megawatts (1,140 hp) mini-hydro
Make and model GEC Turbine Generators Limited, Manchester, England
Nameplate capacity 2051 MW

Liddell Power Station is a coal-powered thermal power station with four 500 megawatts (670,000 hp) GEC (UK) steam driven turbo alternators for a combined electrical capacity of 2,000 megawatts (2,700,000 hp). Commissioned between 1971 and 1973, the station is located at Lake Liddell near Muswellbrook, in the Hunter Region, New South Wales, Australia.

Prior to September 2014 Liddell power station was part of NSW Government power producer, Macquarie Generation.[1] Macquarie Generation was acquired by AGL Energy in September 2014.[2]


The first generator was completed in 1971, two more in 1972, and the fourth in 1973. At the time of its completion, Liddell was the most powerful generating station in Australia. The completion of Liddell aided in the retirement of earlier power stations in Sydney, such as Bunnerong.

Originally fitted with the then-standard electrostatic precipitators for dust collection, the more efficient Fabric Filters (as used at Eraring, Munmorah units 3 and 4,Vales 5+6, Bayswater and Mount Piper) were retrofitted in the early 1990s, reducing particulate emissions to a barely visible level.

Much of the coal is supplied by overland conveyors from mines it shares with the nearby Bayswater Power Station.

Liddell was the first major power station in NSW to be built inland, using fresh water for cooling instead of the more abundant salt water used in coastal power stations. To accommodate this, Lake Liddell was expanded to provide more water.

Alternative fuel sources[edit]

In addition to the coal power station, Liddell runs two 25 MW oil-fired gas turbines[3] and an 0.85 MW mini-hydroelectric generator.[3][4] It is also "licensed to co-fire plant biomass and coal to produce electricity", which essentially means it can use sawdust and wood shavings from the nearby timber industry as a portion of its fuel, replacing up to 5% of its coal requirements.[5][6] In practice, however, biomass accounts for only about 0.5% of Liddell's output.[citation needed]

In 2007 a project commenced at Liddell to replace some of the station's boiler feed-water by hot water from a solar thermal array.[7] As of March 2007, the project was at a second-stage prototype but had not been connected to the power station. Subsequently the 9 MWt solar section was added to the Liddell coal-fired generator, but is now effectively been closed. Analysts say the incentive to use solar boost has also been reduced by removal of carbon price and excess coal supply.[8]

Greenhouse emissions[edit]

Carbon Monitoring for Action estimates this power station emits 14.70 million tonnes of greenhouse gases each year as a result of burning coal.[9] In 2010 the Australian Government introduced a Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme to help combat climate change. The scheme has impacted on emissions from power stations. The National Pollutant Inventory provides details of a range of pollutant emissions, including CO, estimated at 1,000,000 kilograms (2,200,000 lb) for the year ending 30 June 2011.[10]


  1. ^ "Macgen Website"
  2. ^ "AGL completes acquisition of Macquarie Generation assets", 2 September 2014
  3. ^ a b "Statement of Corporate Intent 2005/2006" (PDF). Macquarie Generation. 13 December 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 August 2006. Retrieved 5 August 2006. 
  4. ^ "Liddell Power Station" (Press release). Macquarie Generation. 7 February 2000. Archived from the original on 31 March 2006. Retrieved 5 August 2006. 
  5. ^ "Renewable energy". Macquarie Generation. Archived from the original on 19 July 2006. Retrieved 5 August 2006. 
  6. ^ "Biomass Co-firing". Macquarie Generation. Retrieved 5 August 2006. [dead link]
  7. ^ "Liddell Solar Project Update". Macquarie Generation. Retrieved 17 March 2007. 
  8. ^ CS Energy pulls plug on world’s largest “solar booster” project
  9. ^ "Plant overview: Liddell". Carbon Monitoring for Action. 2007. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  10. ^ "Liddell Power Station, Muswellbrook NSW". Carbon Monitoring for Action. Commonwealth of Australia: Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water,m Population and Communities. 30 March 2012. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 

External links[edit]