As it awaits the outcome of the conservative Liberal-National government’s review of the Renewable Energy Target (RET), the future of Origin Energy’s $900 million Stockyard Hill wind project planned for western Victoria is under threat.
”The project is ready to go,” Origin Energy’s managing director Mr Grant King has told Fairfax Media, ”but it depends on the RET review.”
Heading the review is senior business figure and climate change denier Dick Warburton.
Amongst other things, the review will advise on whether the size of the target ”is still appropriate’.
Fairfax Media reports Mr King’s comments follow a poorer than expected December half earnings, with Origin’s net profit falling to $322 million from $524 million a year earlier due to intense competition and a warm winter.
Despite the decline, which was largely due to the energy markets division, Mr King said this arm of the business is now operating better than it had been.
Under existing rules, 20 per cent of all power generation must be supplied from renewable energy sources, although the recent weakness in electricity demand has boosted the percentage supplied from this fuel source, which includes wind and solar energy.
Mr King said the $900 million Stockyard Hill project was originally planned to supply power from 2017, although this may slip back to beyond 2