Shine a light on the solar contract

The State Liberals are demanding the Premier Jay Weatherill release the contract South Australian taxpayers have signed with SolarReserve to underwrite its Port Augusta 150 megawatt solar thermal power station.

“Taxpayers have the right to know exactly how much money Jay Weatherill has committed them to pay over the 20 year life of the contract,” said Deputy State Liberal Leader Vickie Chapman.

“Taxpayers have the right to see in black and white that the contract is as the Premier claims.

“The State Liberals have long advocated for a solar thermal power station to be built near Port Augusta and welcome the State Government’s announcement that it will partner with the Federal Government to enable its construction.

“Taxpayers know that the Federal Government will provide a $110 million concessional loan and have the right to know how much the Weatherill Government has offered to get this project off the ground.

“Jay Weatherill’s standard evasion that the contract is commercial in confidence simply doesn’t wash. Taxpayers are underwriting this contract so taxpayers have the right to see the contract.

“Too much doubt regarding the actual cost of the of the Weatherill Government’s chaotic energy plan remains hidden.

“The $110 million to hire diesel generators for just 13 months is the only firm figure to have emerged regarding the cost of Jay Weatherill’s chaotic energy plan.

“Taxpayers and electricity consumers in South Australia are essentially one and the same and both have been punished as a result of the Weatherill Government’s mistakes.

“The fact this new solar thermal plant won’t be operational until 2020 at the earliest highlights the foolishness of the government rejecting Alinta’s offer to keep the Northern Power Station operating until 2020 for just $8 million a year.

“Had Jay Weatherill kept the Northern Power Station open it would have enabled a smooth transition between the two technologies, in the process saving several hundred of jobs in the Port Augusta and Leigh Creek region.

“Had Jay Weatherill understood the economic damage the closure of the Northern Power Station would do he could have protected South Australians from the world’s most expensive electricity.”