Kwinana Big Battery welcome but it won’t keep the lights on

Shadow Minister for Energy Steve Thomas has welcomed the Government’s announcement of the completion of the Kwinana Big Battery stage two but says that it again highlights that the transition plan for energy is under budget and will blowout in time.

“As the Government says, this addition will bring the total capacity of the Kwinana batteries to 1000 megawatt hours (MWh), which will keep the lights on and air conditioners running in the South West Interconnected System for an hour at most if our generators shut down,” Dr Thomas said.

“When the Collie Big Battery is finished it will add another 2000MWh and keep the lights on for another two hours.

“These are good developments, but it demonstrates the size of the problem faced by the Cook Labor Government.

“Their current transition plan does not deliver enough generation, transmission or storage to meet the current timelines and will cost another $10 billion or more to meet the proposed deadlines.”

Dr Thomas said the announcement also highlighted the need for gas as an essential transition energy source for Western Australia to meet the shortfall as coal generation shut down.

“Either that, or the Government will have to keep extending the life of the coal fleet, as it has already started doing,” he said.

“The Government has already pushed the closure of Muja Unit 6 from this year to next April, one month after the next state election.

“A major disruption to gas supplies after the coal closures will shut down our state and push us back to the dark ages.”