Projects on hold as RET insecurity spreads

With the recent federal government announcement the Renewable Energy Target could be lowered from 41,000 to 26,000MW per year, a number of major energy developments have either been put on hold or axed.

Tasmania’s Low Head wind farm is one of the latest projects to announce the project is on hold pending an announcement regarding the RET.

Founder and developer Shane Bartel said the documents had been informally reviewed and he believed they would be accepted by the government if and when they were submitted.

“We have held back on doing so because of the uncertainty of the RET,” Mr Bartel told The Examiner.

“It’s on hold until we know whether the result of the RET is going to likely provide a strong market value for LGCs. We’ve planned for the 41,000MW per annum, or 4GW, that was legislated.”

Federal legislation requires that 20 per cent of Australia’s energy comes from renewable sources by 2020 and Mr Bartel said developers were still hopeful the project would be able to continue.

“We still feel that we have a bit of a niche market to service in that particular area given its industry, and we still feel there’s some potential to get a power purchase agreement to sell the electricity,” he said, as reported by The Examiner.

Mr Bartel said he expected a decision on the project within three to six months after the formalisation of the RET review.

In Lismore, the stalling of the Stockyard Hill wind farm has trickled down to a
$47 million power terminal station planned by Origin Energy. The proposed terminal would deliver power from the Stockyard Hill development into the power grid, as reported by Energy Business News.

In 2010 planning approval was granted to Origin Energy for 157 turbines, down from an initial proposal of 242 turbines at the Stockyard Hill site in Victoria. In February 2013, Origin was granted approval for the Lismore terminal station. The project is currently at a standstill awaiting the government’s response to the RET review.