Powering up the Daintree
ERGON Energy has been appointed to conduct detailed works on supplying electricity to residents north of the Daintree River, despite the area remaining excluded from Ergon’s network delivery area.
The process of building infrastructure for electricity north of the Daintree River is progressing, with Ergon Energy enlisted to outline the electricity supply options and estimate costs in the region.
Minister for Energy Mark McArdle has made the request and Ergon’s acting manager regional services Graham Lynes said the scoping work is estimated to be completed by the end of the year.
‘‘This scoping work will be gifted to the community to use in a private sector tender for the construction of a new energy supply, saving many thousands of dollars in development costs,’’ Mr Lynes said.
‘‘This will include a preliminary determination on which electricity supply option could be the most economically, technically, and environmentally viable option. However, the Queensland Government has specified that the Daintree area will remain excluded from Ergon Energy’s network delivery area.’’
State MP David Kempton said he is pleased the process is moving forward for the residents north of the river, who have been fighting to gain electricity for over a decade. ‘‘Once we have a firm idea of the cost we will be in a better position to pursue Warren Entsch’s offer of federal funding to compensate the additional cost of supply by virtue of world heritage listing,’’ he said.
‘‘Once there is a concrete costing, we will be in a position to explore the best options for an effective and reliable energy supply. There is no quick fix and the issues are certainly complex.
‘‘Our biggest single consideration is the cost of delivering power to residents and businesses north fo the river. We need to take into account the cost of upgrading the existing grid to the extra load, the added cost of underground reticulation in a world heritage listed area, delivery to all users in scattered locations and for consumers, the cost of bringing their exisiting wiring up to standard.’’
Mr Kempton said the state government is in no position to make a commitment for supply at this stage.