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Beyond the expected

Nearly half a million spent on the solar farm that never was

By johnboy - 3 March 2011 16

On Friday Zed Seselja wrote a media release, and last night he managed to get it online but it’s still worth taking a look at his take on the axed solar farm project:

The whole process to find a company to construct the solar farm in the ACT has cost taxpayers $384,306 since 2008/09. That’s over $200,000 on salaries, over $170,000 on consultants and over $8,000 on promotions and advertising – all for a project that was dumped by ACT Labor.

“ACT Labor is treating ACT taxpayers with contempt; spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on projects that inevitable don’t go ahead,” Zed said.

“This is another example of extreme waste by the Labor party who over a long time attempted to attract companies to bid for this project, only to scrap the idea in favour of the expansion of a highly inefficient feed-in-tariff scheme which is expected to cost Canberra families an additional $200 a year on their electricity bills.

“The project was heavily promoted as a Labor party election commitment and as part of the Labor and Greens agreement. The tender process had narrowed down potential companies to build the solar farm yet Simon Corbell dumped his party’s policy, with the Greens supporting this approach.

“Simon Corbell needs to answer why he was so carelessly thrown away almost $400,000 of taxpayer’s money on a project he didn’t end up completing.

What’s Your opinion?


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16 Responses to
Nearly half a million spent on the solar farm that never was
shadow boxer 11:50 am 04 Mar 11

The whole process to find a company to construct the solar farm in the ACT has cost taxpayers $384,306 since 2008/09. That’s over $200,000 on salaries, over $170,000 on consultants and over $8,000 on promotions and advertising – all for a project that was dumped by ACT Labor.

This is the bit you need to address, the feed in tariff is a separate issue that appears to provide free electricity to the rich and bump up prices for everyone else.

parle 11:44 am 04 Mar 11

p1 said :

breda said :

Applying such rules retroactively would be pretty harsh. That doesn’t explain why row upon row of box like, thermally inefficient houses, with small eaves, no consideration for aspect and huge air-conditioner units are continuing to be built in our new suburbs? It isn’t “poor people” or “renters” building these McMansions.

because it is more financially advantageous to put subsidised solar panels on your roof for $20K and then collect a reward from your neighbours than to spend that 20K on properly building a house so it uses less electricity.

Simon_Corbell 11:31 am 04 Mar 11

I was amused to see Zed Seselja’s claims repeated on RiotACT after I showed in the media on Tuesday how spurious they were.

What are the facts?

The facts are that:

Rather than dumping a solar farm the ACT Government has committed to 210MW of large scale solar generating capacity on top of the 30MW Micro and Medium scale capacity that will be built from the expanded Feed-in Tariff scheme – for an eventual total of 240MW. That would meet about 20% of the ACT’s electricity demand.

The ACT already has built the equivalent of a 7MW power station from the operation of the FiT scheme.

The Government has increased eligible generators from 30kW to 200kW capacity in the existing FiT scheme.

The Expression of Interest process allowed industry to give strong evidence to the government that rather than just a single large solar power facility for the ACT there was potential for much more renewable generation.

Through the EOI the industry told us that a well designed feed-in tariff process was the best way to deployment of solar power generating capacity in Canberra and not to build just one plant, but five, six or more large scale facilities.

The Government has also committed to legislate for a market based auction mechanism to support that potential for multiple large scale solar facilities in the ACT with an initial auction for 40MW capacity.

To quote an industry leader who was interviewed on WIN News on Tuesday:

“Looking at the best way to fund solar farms this is the sensible thing to do. Instead of getting juts one solar farm project the Government will deliver five or six solar farm projects which will be a better outcome for the Territory.”

My market based approach is the world’s best practice for achieving the greatest renewable energy deployment at the lowest cost is supported by industry – it should be supported by the Opposition Leader.

p1 10:35 am 04 Mar 11

breda said :

Re comments #1 and #2 – what is it that self righteous greenies have against poor people, and renters, who have no control over the things that greenies want to make compulsory or penalise?

Applying such rules retroactively would be pretty harsh. That doesn’t explain why row upon row of box like, thermally inefficient houses, with small eaves, no consideration for aspect and huge air-conditioner units are continuing to be built in our new suburbs? It isn’t “poor people” or “renters” building these McMansions.

Sleaz274 9:46 am 04 Mar 11

breda said :

Re comments #1 and #2 – what is it that self righteous greenies have against poor people, and renters, who have no control over the things that greenies want to make compulsory or penalise? And, why are they always so keen to micromanage our lives while simultaneously hitting us in the pocket?

Inquiring (and long suffering) minds want to know.

Because our current pricing models (not just electricity pretty much everything) don’t take into account the continuing degradation of our environment or use of dwindling worldwide resources being competed for by an ever increasing population. Prices will invariably increase as we become more aware that there is a cost to our continued mindless consumption beyond just the raw prices of materials and labour.

Additionally who do you think writes the rules or makes these decisions? Poor people and renters? Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha There will always be poor people and they will always be hurt by price fluctuations. Just because people are renters doesn’t mean they are poor either, but it is true most poor people are renters although I know a lot of home owners I’d classify as very poor as well.

shadow boxer 8:51 am 04 Mar 11

EvanJames said :

breda said :

Inquiring (and long suffering) minds want to know.

Because the price increases in power are caused by the need to build more power generation because of the increased demand caused by population increase and air conditioners being the norm in homes (it wasn’t always thus).

Self righteous greenies, or taxpayers who don’t like being soaked for the consumption habits of others.

That’s simply not true, point me to a new power station that has come on line recently. The price increases are entirely Govt charges and power companies stockpiling money to pay the carbon tax.

housebound 12:17 am 04 Mar 11

Pandy said :

Solar farm? Easy!!!!

Stanhope just needs to bend over.

Most sensible coment yet.

breda 8:05 pm 03 Mar 11

Evan James said:

Because the price increases in power are caused by the need to build more power generation because of the increased demand caused by population increase and air conditioners being the norm in homes (it wasn’t always thus)

————————————————————————————————————

Evan, my very efficient reverse cycle airconditioner has made about 2% difference to my electricity consumption in summer. It is true that in the past people couldn’t afford aircon – nor could they afford fridges, cars, washing machines, televisions etc. What strikes me about the line of argument that is followed by so many of those who want to compel us to live the way they think best is the deep resentment of ordinary people improving their standard of living. Sackcloth and ashes seems to be the highest form of existence.

If you think that building power stations is expensive, sit down and work out the cost of trying to provide reliable power by alternative means (except, you can’t, because it is not reliable). Population increase means that we need to ensure that there is reliable power for those people, unless you advocate that they should have a lower standard of living than we do. And, no amount of windmills or solar panels will make a scrap of difference to the need for power stations, unless you think brownouts and blackouts are acceptable. The solar and wind subsidies just make providing the baseload power capacity more expensive.

I don’t care what people do with their own money. But, I am getting very tired of paying higher prices for power so that rich people and deluded hippies can cash in and/or feel good about themselves.

Pandy 7:49 pm 03 Mar 11

Solar farm? Easy!!!!
.
.
.
.
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Stanhope just needs to bend over.

EvanJames 5:07 pm 03 Mar 11

breda said :

Inquiring (and long suffering) minds want to know.

Because the price increases in power are caused by the need to build more power generation because of the increased demand caused by population increase and air conditioners being the norm in homes (it wasn’t always thus).

Self righteous greenies, or taxpayers who don’t like being soaked for the consumption habits of others.

breda 4:38 pm 03 Mar 11

Re comments #1 and #2 – what is it that self righteous greenies have against poor people, and renters, who have no control over the things that greenies want to make compulsory or penalise? And, why are they always so keen to micromanage our lives while simultaneously hitting us in the pocket?

Inquiring (and long suffering) minds want to know.

KaptnKaos 3:34 pm 03 Mar 11

It was a polipromise, people, you didn’t expect anything to come out of it did you, especially since stresscorb and the greenaliens were heading it up.

Families, homeowners will pay again for the gubbmints stuff up, transactewaghell will tell stresscorbs that it is ok to raise our prices again for anything we use, better not tell them we are using oxygen to breathe.

Chief Ten Beers 1:30 pm 03 Mar 11

Money wasted on a Green program? Surely not!

p1 1:15 pm 03 Mar 11

EvanJames said :

They could start by making it compulsory for anyone buying a home air conditioner to fit solar panels on their roofs to run it. That would massively reduce load on the power grid.

Or that aircon can only be fitted if a house already has good insulation and double glazing.

EvanJames 12:37 pm 03 Mar 11

I got my hopes up when he said it was “Canberra Families” bearing the brunt… great, doesn’t affect me, I’m not a family. But no, he’s also used Canberra Taxpayers twice, so I don’t get off scott-free. Although it’s good to see that only Families will be getting the higher power bills, not other people.

They could start by making it compulsory for anyone buying a home air conditioner to fit solar panels on their roofs to run it. That would massively reduce load on the power grid.

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