Skip to content

Can retiring coal sites be used for renewable power generation?

Wind turbines

With coal-fired power generation retiring, the need for renewable power  sources is increasing. One potential solution is to use the existing connection points to install new power generation or energy storage. Retiring sites typically have good transmission infrastructure.

Finding favourable sites for new solar and wind projects is becoming increasingly difficult for developers. While most prefer sites close to transmission infrastructure, finding sites with good solar or wind potential is challenging. To address this issue, some developers are considering redeveloping existing generation sites rather than starting anew. While there are benefits to a brownfield site, the registration and connection process is just as challenging as developing a new site. Additional connection studies are needed, and new projects must meet more stringent approval processes.

Overseas data suggests that repowering existing sites with larger and more efficient wind turbines is beneficial. However, no Australian wind farms have been repowered yet. The average age of an Australian wind farm is 15 years, and some are close to 30 years old.

As the offshore wind industry grows, we may see more large and efficient wind farms developed on the same grounds as the early industry pioneers.

This article is a summary of Edge2020’s article: Retrofitting old power station sites with new generation 

If you would like a strategy to ensure your company procures energy to support sustainability and growth in renewables, please reach out to discuss your options.  To save on electricity spend, you can also join our Edge Utilities Power Portfolio, read more: or call us on: 1800 334 336 to discuss.