Winter out of his depth on gas negotiations and energy security

Guy Barnett,Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction

Labor’s chief scaremonger Dean Winter continues to show that he is out of his depth when it comes to Tasmania’s energy security and the future of the Tamar Valley Power Station.

The Tasmanian Government and Hydro have repeatedly said that the Tamar Valley Power Station will be retained – how many times can Dean Winter cry wolf when the facts don’t support his deliberate attempts to scare Tasmanians.

Hydro Tasmania CEO Ian Brooksbank is on record as saying, ”Hydro has no plans to decommission the combined cycle turbine…” at the TVPS.

The Tamar Valley Power Station combined cycle gas turbine is one of five units that remain available for use. The Combined Cycle Gas Turbine is currently in dry layup to protect the asset in case it is required in the future.

The Combined Cycle unit last operated during the 2018-19 summer and Hydro has the ability to have it operational within 3 months. This is more than enough time within the Hydro storage parameters under the Energy Security Framework.

The Framework provides a minimum storage level of nine-months, and Tasmania’s storage levels are currently much higher than this.

Tasmania’s energy profile has significantly changed in recent years. Windfarms that have become operational like Cattle Hill and Granville Harbour inject an additional 260 megawatts of capacity into the power system.

This has helped Tasmania reach 100 per cent self-sufficiency in renewable electricity – well ahead of our 2022 target. To further build on this momentum, the Government has legislated a world-leading 200 per cent Tasmanian Renewable Energy Target, and further wind development is in the pipeline.

It is totally inappropriate for Dean Winter to make unsubstantiated claims about the Tamar Valley Power Station just to try to score cheap political points. And, to say we are ignoring advice from our Energy Security Taskforce is simply dishonest.

Hydro Tasmania and Tasmanian Gas Pipeline are currently in negotiations over terms for a renewal of the Gas Transportation Agreement, which expires at the end of this year.

The Government will ensure the outcome of negotiations between Hydro and TGP is in the best interest of Tasmanians.

Tasmanians should also be proud that we are the first jurisdiction in Australia to be 100 per cent powered by renewable electricity and the State’s energy security has never been stronger with our Hydro storages at the highest level for nearly a decade – 52.8 per cent as at today.

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