South Australia’s Economic Development Board (EDB) has said that the South Australian Government should consider buying or leasing a gas-fired electricity generator to help stabilise the state’s power supply.
Goran Roos, a member of the EDB, said that in the absence of progress on energy policy at national level, South Australia should consider going it alone. He said: “In the medium term, the South Australian Government should consider direct control of electrical generation facilities, either through acquisition or leasing arrangements, coupled with long-term back-to-back take-or-pay contracts with end users. A suitable facility could be the second Pelican Point gas turbine, which is operated by GDF Suez Australian Energy, a subsidiary of ENGIE, which owns 72 per cent. Mitsubishi owns the other 28 per cent.”
Pelican Point 2 was mothballed in 2013. Roos said: “ENGIE has argued that the second Pelican Point gas turbine cannot compete with cheaper wind energy, and it is commercially unviable to occasionally switch on the gas-fired power plant to meet requirements for a few high-demand days across the year. As such, the acquisition costs or lease costs for the second gas turbine should be minimal.”