Bayswater power station

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Bayswater power station is an operating power station of at least 2665-megawatts (MW) in Hunter Region, Muswellbrook, New South Wales, Australia with multiple units, some of which are not currently operating.


Table 1: Project-level location details

Plant name Location Coordinates (WGS 84)
Bayswater power station Hunter Region, Muswellbrook, New South Wales, Australia -32.3950, 150.9492 (exact)

The map below shows the exact location of the power station.

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Unit-level coordinates (WGS 84):

  • Unit Plant B: -32.395, 150.9492
  • Unit 1: -32.3940422, 150.9500828
  • Unit 2: -32.3940422, 150.9500828
  • Unit 3: -32.3940422, 150.9500828
  • Unit 4: -32.3940422, 150.9500828

Project Details

Table 2: Unit-level details

Unit name Status Fuel(s) Capacity (MW) Technology Start year Retired year
Unit Plant B cancelled - 2000 MW - - -
Unit 1 operating coal - bituminous 685 MW subcritical 1985 2033 (planned)
Unit 2 operating coal - bituminous 660 MW subcritical 1985 2033 (planned)
Unit 3 operating coal - bituminous 660 MW subcritical 1986 2033 (planned)
Unit 4 operating coal - bituminous 660 MW subcritical 1986 2033 (planned)

Table 3: Unit-level ownership and operator details

Unit name Owner Parent
Unit Plant B AGL Macquarie Pty Ltd AGL Energy Ltd
Unit 1 AGL Macquarie Pty Ltd AGL Energy Ltd
Unit 2 AGL Macquarie Pty Ltd AGL Energy Ltd
Unit 3 AGL Macquarie Pty Ltd AGL Energy Ltd
Unit 4 AGL Macquarie Pty Ltd AGL Energy Ltd


  • Source of financing:


The Bayswater power station was commissioned between 1985 and 1986 and generates 2,640 megawatts (MW) from four 660MW subcritical units. The power station consumes approximately 7.5 million tonnes per year.[1]


The power station is owned by Macquarie Generation, which in turn is owned by AGL Energy.[2]

Macquarie Generation was a government-owned business which was established in 1996 and boasts that it is "Australia's largest electricity generator."[3] In 2014 Macquarie Generation was privatised with AGL Energy buying the assets.[2]

AGL Increasing Capacity

In February 2018 AGL announced that it would be investing A$200 million on a maintenance project to upgrade Bayswater, including installation of new turbines that would increase the plant's overall capacity by 100 MW. The installation of the new turbines would begin in February 2019.[4] "AGL first flagged its intention to upgrade the power station as part of its plan to replace the 2000 megawatts that will be removed from the system when the Liddell coal-fired power station – which is located less than five kilometres from Bayswater – closes down in 2022."[4]

In September of 2018, Environmental Justice Australia stated that the Bayswater upgrade lacked the air pollution reduction technology that is standard in America, Europe, China and India, and should therefore be rejected.[5] In January 2019 it was reported that the upgrade to Unit 1 had been completed.[6]

In March of 2021, AGL announced that it had commenced a A$152 million maintenance and upgrade program at Bayswater, expected to be completed in June 2021. The works include a turbine upgrade, replacing the unit’s distributed control system, as well as a cooling tower repack and maintenance works on boiler, gas air heater and electrical plants.[7] In March 2022 Unit 4 was taken offline as part of upgrading its capacity from 660 MW to 685 MW.[8]

Planned retirement

As of July 2021 the plant was scheduled to continue operating until 2035.[9] However in August 2021 one of the biggest users of power from the plant, the Tomago Aluminum smelter, announced that it would switch to renewable power by 2029, which could force Bayswater to close that year.[10]

In February 2022, AGL said it would remove coal from its electricity generation mix entirely by 2045 at the latest – three years earlier than previously planned – and possibly by as early as 2040. The announcement disappointed climate advocates, who have been ramping up demands for the company to exit coal much earlier. The United Nations has called for developed countries to remove coal from their power networks by 2030 in order to avert catastrophic levels of climate change. Under AGL’s new closure dates, its Bayswater coal plant in NSW, would now shut within a “window” of 2030 to 2033.[11]

Bayswater B power station

On January 12, 2010 the then NSW Minister for Planning, Tony Kelly, approved a "concept plan" for Macquarie Generation establishing a 2000 MW coal or gas-fired plant near the existing Bayswater Power Station. The approval was subject to further environmental assessment on a specific proposal. The decision stated that "this concept approval shall lapse ten years after the date of its approval by the Minister unless works the subject of any related project approval are physically commenced on or before that date."[12]

In its November 2011 review of the major electricity generation projects under consideration in Australia, the Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics (BREE) noted that a 2000 MW expansion of the power station was under consideration though no decision had been made on whether it would be coal or gas-fired. BREE described the potential expansion as a "less advanced project".[13]

The following year BREE reported that there had been no change in the status of the project.[14]

The project was not mentioned at all in BREE's 2013 update on major electricity generation projects.[15]

Macquarie Generation was acquired by AGL Energy in June 2014, including the development site for Bayswater B, if AGL pursues the project.[2]

The Bayswater B project was presumed cancelled.

Fly ash management

On its website Conneq Industrial Infrastructure states that it "manages operations and maintenance of the fly ash handling and disposal system" at Macquarie Generation's Bayswater Power Station, New South Wales. The company states that it "is responsible for the plant and equipment which removes fly ash from the station fabric filter plant and pneumatically conveys the material to an adjacent dense phase slurry plant. Conneq is also responsible for the survey, repair and maintenance of the station’s pulverised fuel milling plant." Conneq states that it has been operating at the power station since 1997.[16] Conneq is a member of the Ash Development Association of Australia, a lobby group promoting the use of coal-fired power station waste in building and other materials.[17]

In July 2021 it was reported that AGL paid an A$1.1 million fine for the April 2021 discharge of fly ash into Bayswater Creek.[9]

Other emissions and pollution

In May 2017 internal documents obtained from Macquarie, which operated Bayswater until 2014, revealed a strategy used to mask emissions from the plant and avoid triggering pollution alerts. The documents open "a whole host of issues about compliance now and over the past couple of decades," said Adam Searle, Labor's energy spokesman. "But it's also about what these power stations are doing today."[18]

In September 2018 the group Environmental Justice Australia called on the national government to reject the Bayswater upgrade until the plant installs new air pollution reduction technology.[19] Fine particle emissions from Bayswater rose by 69% in 2017, according to government data.[20]

Data from the Clean Energy Regulator for 2019-20 showed that Bayswater power station emitted more than 14 million tonnes CO2-equivalent that year. AGL contributed about 8% of Austrailia's total reported carbon dioxide emissions within the time period.[21]

In February 2023, AGL was fined A$15,000 ($10,471 USD) over the discharge of saline water into the nearby Bayswater Creek. There had been several water pollution incidents in recent years, and AGL failed to immediately report the incident.[22]

Articles and Resources


  1. Macquarie Generation, "Bayswater power station", Macquarie Generation website, accessed May 2011.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 AGL Energy, "AGL given green light on Macquarie Generation", Media Release, June 25, 2014.
  3. Macquarie Generation, "Welcome", Macquarie Generation website, accessed May 2011.
  4. 4.0 4.1 AGL to invest $200m in coal-fired power station Bayswater, Sydney Morning Herald, Feb. 28, 2018
  5. Joanne McCarthy, "AGL's Bayswater power station upgrade plans is missing vital air pollution technology, say critics", The Herald, September 18th 2018
  6. Claire Cuddihy, AGL completes first stage of Bayswater power plant upgrade, World Coal, Jan. 7, 2019
  7. Largest maintenance works underway at AGL Bayswater, AGL News Releases, Mar. 17, 2021
  8. Vales Point Joins The Coal Team's Growing Injury List, Renew Economy, May 5, 2022
  9. 9.0 9.1 Another Bayswater Power Station Pollution Penalty, Solar Quotes, Jul. 6, 2021
  10. Lisa Cox, Tomago, Australia’s largest aluminium smelter, vows to switch to renewable energy by 2029, The Guardian, Aug. 11, 2021
  11. "AGL brings forward coal power exit by at least three years," Sydney Morning Herald, February 10, 2022
  12. "Concept approval", NSW Government Department of Planning, January 12, 2010. (Detailed documentation on the project is available here)
  13. Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics, "2011 November: Major electricity generation projects", November 2011, page 21.
  14. Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics, "2012 November: Major electricity generation projects", November 2012, page 19.
  15. Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics, "2013 November: Major electricity generation projects", October 2013, page 21.
  16. Conneq Industrial Infrastructure, "Bayswater Power Station, NSW", Conneq Industrial Infrastructure website, accessed June 2011.
  17. Ash Development Association of Australia, "Membership", Ash Development Association of Australia website, accessed June 2011.
  18. Bayswater power station's pollution masking lasted decades, documents show], Sydney Morning Herald, 14 May 2017.
  19. AGL's Bayswater power station upgrade plans is missing vital air pollution technology, say critics, Sydney Morning Herald, Sep. 10, 2018
  20. Power station emissions hit the stratosphere despite government assurances on pollution controls, Sydney Morning Herald, Apr. 4, 2018
  21. Electricity sector emissions and generation data 2019-20, Clean Energy Regulator, Feb. 25, 2021
  22. Bayswater Power Station fined $15,000 for alleged saline water discharge, NSW EPA, Feb. 14, 2023

Additional data

To access additional data, including an interactive map of coal-fired power stations, a downloadable dataset, and summary data, please visit the Global Coal Plant Tracker on the Global Energy Monitor website.