Labor's energy policy was 'chaotic' Minister

PLAN: Then treasurer Tom Koutsantonis, left, and then premier Jay Weatherill discuss the location of the world's biggest battery at Hornsdale Wind Farm a year ago.
PLAN: Then treasurer Tom Koutsantonis, left, and then premier Jay Weatherill discuss the location of the world's biggest battery at Hornsdale Wind Farm a year ago.

Energy Minister and Stuart MP Dan van Holst Pellekaan reckons the previous Labor government short-circuited itself with a “rushed, chaotic and expensive” energy plan.

He said the plan had included the $90 million Tesla big battery at Jamestown which cost much more than taxpayers should have paid for it.

“The energy plan delivered the most expensive and least reliable electricity in the nation,” he said.

He said the then Liberal Opposition had welcomed the battery at the Hornsdale Wind Farm, but “Labor delivered it in a very expensive way”.

“Figures released last week show that while having the battery was a step forward, they did it in a way that cost taxpayers more than it needed,” he said.

“They had their energy security target which they actually cancelled themselves. That was a component of their policy which we said would not work.”

He said the then government had agreed to buy diesel generators at the start of the first year of a two-year lease for the units.

“They actually signed documents to buy them. The reason they should have waited was they had complete flexibility, but rushed it and did make any saving,” he said.

“They didn’t get a better price for it or get a sign-up fee.”

Mr Pellekaan is local parliamentarian for the district including the battery. Opposition energy spokesman Tom Koutsantonis said the battery had worldwide acclaim as a triumph of modern renewable technology.

“The facts show the battery is helping cut costs for households and improving the grid’s reliability,” he said.

“This project represents incredible value for taxpayers.

“It is regrettable to see the state’s Energy Minister trashing such a great example of our state’s global renewable energy leadership.”

In the past week, the battery has been the subject of positive media reports.

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