“What I’ll be doing is seeking the energy council to lock in a date for the implementation,” she said.
“We want to see KerangLink built as soon as possible.”
It comes as concerns have been building in Victoria about the prospect of the early closure of Yallourn power station, which generates a fifth of the state’s electricity. The plant is licensed until 2032, but could begin closing in the late 2020s depending on market conditions. If there was a greater than 20 per cent chance of Yallourn closing earlier than scheduled, AEMO said, building KerangLink before 2028-29 would be the “least-regrets” strategy.
Federal Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor on Wednesday said he wanted to seek bilateral deals with his individual state counterparts at COAG to roll out new generation and transmission projects.
“There are several transmission projects that the Commonwealth is keen to engage state and territories on including HumeLink, KerangLink and Energy Connect,” Mr Taylor said.
“I have put a priority on working with my state and territory colleagues on these projects.”
The route currently proposed for KerangLink runs through Sydenham, Ballarat, Bendigo, Kerang, Darlington Point, Wagga Wagga and Barnaby.
KerangLink is yet to be costed and subject to further assessment by the AEMO, including other potential route options.
The Morrison government has been firm that it would not be “an ATM” in its negotiations for deals with individual states on Friday, but has expressed an eagerness to work with states on common energy goals such as new generation, transmission investments and emissions reduction, and hear what they are willing to bring to the table.
Queensland Energy Minister Anthony Lynham has raised the issue of new gas pipelines for his state, which he said could help develop new gas fields and deliver gas to manufacturers.
“Access to new pipelines would make all the difference in opening up these new potential gas-producing areas and connecting with major energy users in centres like Townsville,” Dr Lynham said.
He will also test Mr Taylor’s appetite to help fund electrification of Curtis Island liquefied natural gas production, so the gas that is now used to power processing could be redirected into the east-coast market.
Business reporter for The Age and Sydney Morning Herald.
Mike is the climate and energy correspondent for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.