Tasmania pursuing 200% renewable energy

Wind farm (Tasmania renewable)

Privately owned Robbins Island, which sits off Montagu on Tasmania’s far north-west coast, is set to become home to a wind farm of up to 122 turbines, ABC News reports. The project is one of three renewable energy farms in the pipeline for UPC-AC Renewables, which is also proposing a new transmission line from West Montagu to Staverton, near Sheffield, to connect these renewable assets to the grid. 

“These are just a few of the energy developments proposed across Tasmania, with at least 12 private renewable energy projects in the pipeline. This investment will help the state reach the government’s target of generating 200 per cent of the state’s energy through renewable resources by 2040,” the report stated.

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According to UPC-AC Renewables chief operation officer David Pollington, the Robbins Island project will be a significant contributor to meeting that 200 per cent target.

“This project will provide low-cost, cheap, reliable energy into the grid, which will support the battery of the nation project, the Marinus project and importantly developments like the hydrogen initiative that are being explored,” he explained.

The 200 per cent renewables target is part Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation plan—a vision that will see it supply clean energy to the mainland. 

“We have a tremendous opportunity here in Tasmania to more than play our part and to make it easier for the rest of the mainland to move away from coal-fired generation, from fossil fuel generation towards a much more clean energy future,” TasNetworks CEO Sean McGoldrick said. 

But not everyone is sold on the plan, with wind turbine opposition groups vocal in their dissent.

“Very few people are against renewable energy, and it is important to the environment that we do have renewable energy, but if you’re going to put it in one of the most environmentally sensitive places in Tasmania … it’s just a foolish action,” Stephen Pilkington from the Circular Head Coastal Awareness Network, a group opposed to the Robbins Island wind farm, told ABC News

“What the government needs to do is plan where wind generators go so you don’t get this conflict between the proponents and the residents.”

Three hundred kilometres away, in Tasmania’s central highlands at St Patricks Plains, Epuron is working through the approvals process for a 47-turbine farm—one of six renewable projects in its pipeline of wind and solar farms.

Members of the No Turbine Action Group (NTAG) are opposed to the St Patricks Plains wind farm, and have concerns about the strategy guiding the development of renewables in the state. 

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“It’s a thought bubble, the 200 per cent renewable energy. There’s no structure underneath it that the everyday person understands,” NTAG chair David Ridley said.

Goanna Energy associate consultant John Devereaux told the ABC he was concerned the lack of a cohesive overall strategy for the energy sector. 

“What we have is a range of different strategies,” he said.

“We’ve got a renewable plan, we have a hydrogen strategy, we don’t have a gas strategy as we speak.

Read the full article here.