Au­thor­i­ties chal­lenged over power

Central Otago Mirror - - CONVERSATIONS - FRASER JONKER Chal­lenge #1:‘‘ Chal­lenge #2:‘‘ Chal­lenge #3:‘‘ Chal­lenge #4:

I want to thank our com­mu­nity for their sup­port to chal­lenge the lat­est round of elec­tric­ity re­forms that could see our com­mu­nity lose more than $300 per house­hold. More than 100 peo­ple turned up for the meet­ing in Cromwell where the wider im­pacts and un­in­tended con­se­quences of the pro­posal were dis­cussed. Sev­eral in­di­vid­u­als and or­gan­i­sa­tions have fol­lowed up by putting thoughts to key­board, call­ing our po­lit­i­cal lead­ers to action. This na­tion­wide ini­tia­tive is sup­ported by many may­ors and com­mu­nity lead­ers.

The Elec­tric­ity Au­thor­ity rep­re­sen­ta­tive (EA), who at­tended the meet­ing, wrote a fol­low-up let­ter to our pre­vi­ous mayor chal­leng­ing some of the state­ments made at the meet­ing.

EA does not be­lieve that 40 per cent of lo­cal gen­er­a­tion across the coun­try will shut down as a result of the pro­posed changes’’. The EA does state they ex­pect lo­cal gen­er­a­tion to re­main, but why then does their cost ben­e­fit anal­y­sis clearly as­sume that 40 per cent of lo­cal gen­er­a­tion will close? Our ev­i­dence shows very clearly that if the changes as pro­posed are im­ple­mented, it will cost Pioneer more to trans­port our elec­tric­ity away from our gen­er­a­tion sites than what we can get in the mar­ket. Who in their right mind will be able to con­tinue to run a busi­ness at a loss?

The EA did not con­sider all im­pacts their pro­posal will have on lo­cal gen­er­a­tors and is ig­nor­ing the fact that com­mu­ni­ties like ours who in­vested in th­ese as­sets will have value lost to ben­e­fit oth­ers like Merid­ian, Con­tact and Ti­wai.

In­cen­tive pay­ments to lo­cal gen­er­a­tion recog­nis­ing their con­tri­bu­tion to re­duce trans­mis­sion in­vest­ment will not be com­pletely re­moved.’’ The EA states in their pro­posal that lo­cal gen­er­a­tion in the South Is­land is con­sid­ered least likely to pro­vide trans­mis­sion ben­e­fits – and will sub­se­quently lose their in­cen­tive pay­ments. Most of Pioneer’s gen­er­a­tion in the South Is­land was there long be­fore the trans­mis­sion grid, so why then did Trans­power in­vest more than what was needed here and why should our com­mu­nity in­vest­ment suf­fer as a con­se­quence?

The pro­posed changes im­pact­ing lo­cal gen­er­a­tion will not raise prices for con­sumers.’’ This might well be true if all lo­cal gen­er­a­tion re­mains after the changes, but as dis­cussed above, plant will close down and sup­ply will be re­duced.

‘‘The EA be­lieve the pro­pos­als have not been rushed and that they have been con­sult­ing on the is­sue since 2012.’’ This is mis­rep­re­sent­ing the facts – the first con­sul­ta­tion pa­per on lo­cal gen­er­a­tion was only pub­lished in July 2015 and the last round of con­sul­ta­tion is­sued in mid 2016 in­cluded new and sig­nif­i­cant changes never con­sulted on be­fore.

As a re­gional com­mu­nity we need to push hard for what is im­por­tant to us.

Pioneer En­ergy Ltd chief ex­ec­u­tive Fraser Jonker.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.