Grandville Harbour windfarm
Grandville Harbour windfarm

Why $2B wind farm might not mean electricity price cuts

When asked if the proposed $2 billon wind farm would mean cheaper electricity prices for residents one politician wasn’t so sure.

The $2billion Forest Wind project is set to be built in the Tuan Forest between Maryborough and Gympie will be the biggest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.

Federal Member for Hinkler and Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt told the Chronicle despite a drop in the whole sale price of power for many months the Labor Government are yet to pass on the savings to consumers.

“The state Labor government owns 70 per cent of the generators and all of the poles and wires and yet they are not passing through to consumers that reduction in electricity price,” he said.

“Instead they are robbing $1.5 billion roughly a year from profits from electricity companies.

“I think that needs to stop and we need lower power prices for a stronger economy.

“The whole sale power price at my understanding is about $40 a megawatt hour and down from 80 and upwards of 100 in some period of time so that has been around consistently for many months and Labor have no passed those savings on to consumers.”

Mr Pitt said residents needed the price cuts more than ever before.

“Right now we know there is an awful lot of who need that relief in terms of electricity prices and labor should get on with it,” he said.

He said that if the wind farm planned for between Maryborough and Gympie would affect prices is dependent on contacts and agreements made with local and state government as well at the power company.

Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham responded by saying the prices in regional Queensland have fallen for three years in a row.

Dr Lynham told the Chronicle this represented a savings of about $600 for a typical regional household and around $1000 for a small business.

“These are the dividends from our publicly owned companies being passed on to Queensland families,” he said.

“We can do this because we own our energy assets: assets the LNP would sell if given the chance.

“Once sold by the LNP, those dividends would then go to boardrooms in Switzerland, USA and China, never to be seen again.”

He said it was hypocritical for the Member for Hinkler to be talking about power prices at all after power prices went up 43 per cent on the LNP’s watch.

“Over the past five years under Labor, 41 large-scale renewable energy projects have launched, representing around $7.8 billion in investment and about 6500 construction jobs,” he said.

“Renewables are already lowering electricity prices as noted by the independent Queensland Competition Authority in its 2019-2020 price determination and will continue to do so.”