Peter's Blog

EP electricity supply

Mr TRELOAR (Flinders) (15:22): I might begin my grieve today—this is hot off the press, of course—by congratulating Streaky Bay local boy Kerrin McEvoy on winning his third Melbourne Cup aboard the horse Cross Counter.

The SPEAKER: At good odds.

Mr TRELOAR: Good odds of 12 to one, I think, Mr Speaker. You collected, I understand; I probably should not give too much away. My congratulations go to Kerrin. I can assure the house that the pub at Streaky Bay would be absolutely jumping at the moment. The TAB is located in the front bar of the Streaky Bay Hotel. I know that, after a previous win, there was not enough money in the till to pay out the locals from the TAB.

I saw Kerrin interviewed briefly after the race. His dad, Phil, and mum, Tracy, were both there. Both are still residents of Streaky Bay, and they are very proud. His wife, Cathy, was there. They have four children together. He is a very popular local lad, and I wish him well. Congratulations from the Parliament of South Australia. It is always fantastic to see local boys do well. There was some talk in the Streaky Bay district of erecting a statue of Kerrin McEvoy previously. Now that he has another one under his belt, I am sure that will gain momentum.

That aside, I want to quickly talk about the fact that ElectraNet has released its final report on its investigation of electricity supply options to ensure that Eyre Peninsula has a safe, reliable and secure electricity supply into the future. It was very early after I was first elected to this place in 2010 that I had a meeting with ElectraNet in my office. All those years ago—probably seven years ago now—it had identified that the main transmission line into Eyre Peninsula was in need of upgrade and that it was developing a strategy to do that. So here we are eight years later—eight long years. This cannot come soon enough to be honest, but we are here now.

Of course, as we know, the statewide blackout in September 2018, which the member for Heysen has touched on already today—

Mr Teague: It was 2016.

Mr TRELOAR: —sorry, 2016—brought electricity to the fore of everyone’s minds and discussions. Of course, famously, the three generators located just outside Port Lincoln failed to start on that occasion and, despite the contract being in place between ENGIE and ElectraNet, ENGIE was not able to provide electricity when it was really needed.

Be that as it may, the conclusions report was released on 18 October, and it recommends the construction of a new double circuit 132 kV transmission line from Cultana, near Port Augusta, to Port Lincoln via the Yadnarie substation (which is near Cleve) by the end of 2021, and of course the main transmission line extends from Yadnarie west to Wudinna. There is an ability or an option to upgrade the Cultana to Yadnarie section to 275 kilovolts at a later date, as well as the Yadnarie substation, and this would allow for increased demand. The elephant in the room, I guess, is the iron ore project; should that go ahead, there will be a significant extra demand for electricity on Eyre Peninsula.

ElectraNet is saying that this new transmission line will now provide reliability for the region and flexibility to accommodate additional loads or generation into the future. Of course, there was much discussion around the opportunity for wind farms on the West Coast of Eyre Peninsula—the lower West Coast primarily—to put generated electricity into an upgraded transmission line and push into the national grid.

That is not necessarily going to be possible under this first option, but it remains an opportunity in the future because ElectraNet certainly has said that there will be an opportunity to upgrade to 275 kilovolts at a later date should that be required, either through extra demand or transmission capacity from Eyre Peninsula. ElectraNet is also saying that this option will have negligible cost impact on customer bills, which is estimated to be around 10¢ per annum.

Ultimately, it is a $240 million spend. Somebody has to pay. It is a regulated asset. The impact on customers will be negligible, and I am looking forward to having shored up the supply of electricity onto Eyre Peninsula.