IN­SIDE: SE­NA­TOR CANA­VAN SAYS RE­GION A ‘POW­ER­HOUSE FOR NA­TION’

Chinchilla News - - FRONT PAGE -

STAND­ING in front of the 750MW Ko­gan Creek Power Sta­tion yes­ter­day morn­ing, Queens­land Se­na­tor Matt Cana­van de­clared the Western Downs a “pow­er­house for the na­tion”.

“You’ve got coal, you’ve got gas, you’ve got re­new­ables,” he said.

“We’ve got to stop putting all our eggs in one bas­ket – we need all kinds of power to bring power prices down and keep our com­pet­i­tive­ness as a coun­try.”

The Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment this week an­nounced the ac­cep­tance of 49 of 50 rec­om­men­da­tions from the re­cent Finkel Re­view into the fu­ture se­cu­rity of the Na­tional Elec­tric­ity Mar­ket.

The re­lease of the Finkel Re­view last month prompted con­cerns within Western Downs Re­gional Coun­cil over changes to gov­ern­ment pol­icy – specif­i­cally the re­quire­ment for power stor­age and bat­ter­ies along­side re­new­able en­ergy devel­op­ment.

The worry was that the ad­di­tional re­quire­ments could po­ten­tially de­rail in­vest­ment in so­lar en­ergy across the Western Downs.

But Se­na­tor Cana­van eased those con­cerns yes­ter­day, say­ing the re­view wasn’t “ex­plicit” in say­ing re­new­ables re­quired bat­tery stor­age to be at­tached to the de­vel­op­ments.

“It has to have the abil­ity of some level of backup is what (Finkel) rec­om­mended,” Se­na­tor Cana­van said.

“It doesn’t spell out how many hours or the par­tic­u­lar tech­no­log­i­cal backup there should be, just that there should be the pro­vi­sion that re­new­ables can pro­vide some kind of cer­tainty in the en­ergy sys­tem.”

Se­na­tor Cana­van pointed to the re­cent power black­outs in South Aus­tralia where he said in­ter­mit­tent en­ergy sources sup­plied up to 40% of the state’s power.

“The back-up re­quire­ments will be cal­i­brated to the specifics of the re­gion’s elec­tric­ity sys­tem,” he said.

“The big is­sue in South Aus­tralia was that there was no baseload power, they re­lied on the power line from Vic­to­ria to keep them go­ing and that put them in a vul­ner­a­ble po­si­tion.

“You don’t have that sit­u­a­tion here be­cause you have places like Ko­gan Creek, Cal­lide up the road, you’re in a re­silient part of our elec­tric­ity net­work.

“I just make the point that I think you are in an area of great at­trac­tion of re­new­able en­ergy in­vest­ment be­cause you have the re­silience from hav­ing a sig­nif­i­cant baseload power sys­tem, so this is a good place to do things like so­lar.”

PHOTO: MATTHEW NEW­TON

POWER TALKS: Mara­noa MP David Lit­tleproud and Queens­land Se­na­tor Matt Cana­van talk en­ergy se­cu­rity out­side Ko­gan Creek Power Sta­tion on Wed­nes­day morn­ing.

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