ALINTA ENERGY —
CHICHESTER SOLAR GAS HYBRID PROJECT
1249. Hon ROBIN SCOTT to the minister representing the
Minister for Energy:
It has been reported that the
federal government will provide a taxpayer-funded loan of $114.4 million to the
Chichester solar gas hybrid project in the state's north.
(1) What has been the state
government's involvement in the approvals of this project?
(2) Does the minister concede that solar power is
only effective as long as the sun is out, and the weather is fine?
(3) When a mine
site typically operates 24 hours a day, does the minister concede that solar
power alone cannot sustainably provide a mine site with the required power
across any given day?
(4) When a Canadian company has offered to supply such
mine sites with nuclear power at no cost whatsoever to the taxpayer,
does the minister agree that we should have discussions about nuclear power as
an option for our state?
STEPHEN DAWSON replied:
I thank the honourable member for
some notice of the question. The following information has been provided to me
by the Minister for Energy.
(1) Alinta Energy
holds integrated regional licences for generation and transmission. Information
on approvals specific to this project is not
available at short notice. It should be noted that the state is the lender
of record under a master facility agreement signed between the state
government, the commonwealth government and the Northern Australia
Large parts of Western Australia's world-class resources provenances
coincide with world-class solar resources.
While solar obviously does not provide power 24 hours a day, solar is
nonetheless of considerable value to energy users, including mine sites.
Solar power, backed up or firmed, with battery storage and traditional
generation such as gas or diesel, can reduce the total amount of fuel used at a
site, reduce fuel and fuel transport costs, and reduce the project's
greenhouse gas emissions. There is a rapidly increasing number of projects,
like the Chichester solar gas hybrid, that aim to combine gas or diesel
generation technology with new renewable
technologies, new storage technologies, and new control system technologies
into energy supply systems optimised to meet their specific needs at the lowest
cost. This innovation is essential to a highly competitive future for the state's
resources sector and should be given every support.
companies are not asking the state for nuclear power. They know full well that
the state's outstanding renewable energy resources and the state's
stable, reliable, competitive gas supplies offer well-proven and lower cost
energy solutions than hypothetical nuclear applications, without the risks.