Hughes welcomes energy plan

POWER PLAY: Local member Eddie Hughes has welcomed the state government's $550 million energy package.
POWER PLAY: Local member Eddie Hughes has welcomed the state government's $550 million energy package.

Member for Giles, Eddie Hughes, has welcomed the announcement that the South Australian government will spend $550 million on a new package designed to stabilise its electricity system and put downward pressure on electricity price increases.

“This is about reasserting greater control over our electricity system and ensuring the public interest is put first,” he said.

“Gas generators not coming on line when needed which led to load shedding last month is not acceptable.

“Electricity supply is an essential service and should be treated as such.

“By building a government owned gas fired power station that can be used to provide system stability services and emergency back-up power we will not be held hostage by the private sector and the gaming of electricity prices.

“Whyalla is home to the construction of South Australia’s first utility scale solar farm with battery back-up so I welcome the proposal for the nation’s largest battery plant.

“Construction of the 100MW battery will go to tender so energy companies in our region will have an opportunity to bid for the work.

“The $150 million SA Renewable Technology Fund is also likely to generate work in our region given the number of proposals that are being looked at ranging from pumped hydro, wind and solar projects with storage and potentially the most exciting of all hydrogen and ammonia production using renewables.

“The aim of the $150 million SA Renewable Technology Fund is to support projects that will make renewable energy available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to power the state when it is needed.

“Renewable energy costs continue to fall as does battery storage costs putting our part of the state in a strong position as a future energy hub.

“There will now be assessments of new electricity generation projects over 5 MW to determine how they add to local energy system security which will mean a stronger role for storage and back up.

“Stronger ministerial powers to intervene in the market will also assist with ensuring greater energy security.

“There are a raft of other initiatives that taken together will underpin energy security for the benefit of all South Australian.”