Two major wind farm operators on the North-West Coast say it is too soon to assess the effect of the Coalition government’s National Energy Guarantee released on Tuesday.
UPC Renewables CEO Anton Rohner said there were many ‘unknowns’ around the proposed Federal Government policy and the company was still assessing the potential impacts.
“Regardless, we are pressing ahead with our proposal to develop the Robbins Island and Jim’s Plain Renewable Energy Parks and expect to deliver the projects in a timely way,” he said.
“UPC expects Tasmanian Wind power backed up by dispatchable hydropower to be a winner in Australia’s energy future.”
UPC Renewables is building two wind farms in the North-West, one on Robbins Island and one nearby on Jims Plain, with a combined output of up to 1000 megawatts.
Westcoast Wind’s Alex Simpson said he hadn’t really digested the NEG announcement so he could not say how it might affect the renewables sector.
“I haven't had a chance to get implications of it,” he said. “At the moment the details are fairly scant,” he said.
Mr Simpson and his partner Royce Smith are behind the $280 million 99 megawatt Westcoast Wind turbine farm at Granville Harbour on the West Coast.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull outlined the National Energy Guarantee on Tuesday. It requires retailers to ensure reliable supply and reduced emissions.
It also ended subsidies and incentives for renewable development and required retailers to help the nation meet its obligations under the Paris Climate Accord.
Opposition MHAs in Tasmania have claimed the new policy would stymie wind farm developments already in train here, such as Robbins Island.
Labor energy spokesman Scott Bacon said the NEG would “sacrifice hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars’ worth of investment in Tasmanian renewable energy”.
“Projects like the Robbins Island wind farm and even a second interconnector are now under a serious cloud,” Mr Bacon said.
He called on Energy Minister Guy Barnett to state whether or not he supported chief scientist Alan Finkel’s proposed Clean Energy Target, which the federal government rejected.
Mr Barnett said the Hodgman government was “far from convinced” by the Coalition’s new energy policy.
“The Hodgman government has made it clear that when it comes to energy, we will always put Tasmanians first,” he said.
“That means lower prices, energy security and developing more renewable energy generation in Tasmania.
“Any federal energy policy needs to meet those aims for Tasmania before receiving our support.”
Mr Barnett said he had been briefed on the NEG by federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg on Tuesday, but stressed that the state government needed “further detail” about the plan before it offered its support.