The state government’s energy plan promises to deliver reliable, affordable and clean power for South Australia but Member for Flinders Peter Treloar has questioned whether it will do much for Eyre Peninsula.
The plan includes building the country’s largest battery to store solar and wind energy, building a government-owned 250MW gas-fired power plant to provide emergency backup generation and system stability, introducing ministerial powers to direct the market and an energy security target and incentivising increased gas production.
Mr Treloar said the Weatherill government’s plan was costly and did not consider Eyre Peninsula’s position as there was nothing that indicated the region would be any better off.
“There is nothing to say EP’s electricity supply will be any more consistent or cheaper for consumers,” Mr Treloar said.
“Eyre Peninsula’s supply problems pre-date the September blackout, so we are unique in that sense.
“The elaborate and costly plan still doesn’t address the capacity or reliability of the grid.”
He said the plan did not address the lack of cheap base load power to the state and that Port Lincoln was still in the dark over the reliability of local backup generators.
“Nowhere in his plan is the problem of SA’s lack of cheap base load generation addressed,” Mr Treloar said.
“We also remain in the dark over the future reliability of our local back-up generators here in Port Lincoln, and are constantly ignored when it comes to local generation or storage capacity.
“I think consideration should be given to local generation capacity.
“Reliable back-up generators are vital and there is no guarantee that they will work today, next week, or next month.”
Eyre Peninsula Energy Security Working Party member Steve Sawyer said that while the plan was great for South Australia it would not do anything for Eyre Peninsula.
Mr Sawyer said while the plan was a step in the right direction there needed to be a second stage to fix Eyre Peninsula’s energy problems.
He said Eyre Peninsula needed two new transmission lines or a twin circuit to eliminate the Port Lincoln power station and its failed generators.
“We actually have two problems because our current transmission system is corroded and the generators don’t work,” Mr Sawyer said.
He said the second part of giving the region secure energy was to build an interconnector from New South Wales to link into the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric scheme to Port Augusta to provide system security for South Australia.
“It is great that there is a plan but it’s a short term plan and only goes partway to resolving our energy issues.”