Wind power firm Roaring 40s wants a proposed Tasmanian project to be eligible for a Victorian renewable energy scheme.
Roaring 40s, a joint venture between Hydro Tasmania and Hong Kong firm China Light and Power, has held discussions with the Victorian and Tasmanian governments.
It wants a windfarm planned for Musselroe Bay, in Tasmania’s far North-East, to be eligible for the Victorian Renewable Energy Target scheme (VRET).
The Musselroe Bay project has been on hold since 2004, when the Federal Government refused to expand its Mandatory Renewable Energy Targets (MRET).
In 2001, the Federal Government set targets for expanding renewable energy, which brought major growth in windfarms across the country.
The MRET aims for renewable energy to account for 2.5 per cent of energy use by 2010 and has almost been met already, four years ahead of schedule.
The wind power industry hoped the Government would expand its targets to promote further growth in the face of global warming and international pressure to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
The Victorian and NSW governments have moved to introduce their own energy targets and schemes, to promote the expansion of renewable energy.
The Victorian scheme only covers projects within its state borders.
Roaring 40s spokesman Josh Bradshaw said the Victorian scheme was similar to the MRET, requiring retailers to purchase a certain amount of electricity from renewable sources.
“Unfortunately, at this stage, VRET is only considering renewable energy projects within Victorian borders,” he said.
“However, the Tasmanian State Government and Roaring 40s have been in discussion with the Victorian Government regarding the potential for the scheme to expand its borders whereby a project like Musselroe may be considered eligible.
“At this stage, nothing has been agreed but discussions are continuing.”
Mr Bradshaw said the Musselroe Bay project was approved.
“It’s an excellent wind resource location and has the support of the local community and the State Government,” he said.
“Unfortunately, with the Federal Government’s MRET almost fully subscribed, the ability to secure a long-term contract for the project is challenging.”
Mr Bradshaw said the NSW Government indicated that, if re-elected this year, it would implement a state-based renewable energy measure similar to the MRET.
He said the NSW scheme would allow liable retailers to expunge their obligations through renewable energy projects outside NSW.
“If this became the case, then Musselroe would be in a strong position to become eligible under such a scheme,” he said.
* By Simon Bevilacqua
* January 28, 2007
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