SA announces study into new interconnector

RCR solar power

The 2016/17 South Australian State Budget will include $500,000 towards a feasibility study to explore options for greater energy interconnection with the eastern states.

Premier Jay Weatherill today announced the study will look at how greater interconnection can ensure South Australia obtains more baseload power when required, and export more renewable energy to other markets.

The study will be conducted by ElectraNet throughout the next 12 months, at a total cost of more than $1 million.

Mr Weatherill said Australia needs an energy market that supports renewable energy, rather than punishing it.

“All Australian consumers would benefit from greater interconnection because it would create more competition between wholesale suppliers,” he said.

“Renewable energy is providing the high tech jobs of the future, and is helping South Australia transition to a low carbon economy.”

Mr Weatherill pointed to the development of the large-scale solar thermal project in Port Augusta as evidence industry is looking to capitalise on the state’s wind and sun potential.

Premier Jay Weatherill has written to the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Labor Leader Bill Shorten, seeking an immediate commitment to greater electricity interconnection to allow for greater, two-way trade of electricity between South Australia and the eastern states.