Media Releases | 10th Nov, 2011

New coal-fired power station economically unviable, says EPA expert witness

Thursday, 10 November 2011

The proposed new coal-fired power station HRL is unlikely to be economically viable at either a 600MW or 300MW scale, according to expert evidence presented in VCAT this afternoon.

Expert witness Mr. Jeff Washusen from Marsden Jacob Associates, called by the EPA in the legal challenge regarding the proposed new coal-fired power station HRL, has claimed that the HRL power station is unlikely to be viable even if existing brown coal generators in the Latrobe Valley were to close, as costs for this power station are likely to be higher than for some other potential new power stations.

The HRL power station was approved at a size of 300MW by the EPA in May. Environment Victoria, community group Local’s Into Victoria’s Environment, Doctor’s for the Environment Australia and an individual Mr. Martin Shield are all challenging the approval of the power station. HRL are also challenging the EPA decision to approve a 300MW power station rather than the 600MW they applied for, and a number of environmental requirements placed on the power station.

Victoria McKenzie-McHarg, Safe Climate Campaigner for Environment Victoria said today:

“There are cleaner alternatives on the table and ready to go, which are also likely to be more affordable than this new polluting power station.

It begs the question, why are our governments putting money into polluting and expensive technology when we could be investing in clean energy instead? We’re calling on the State and Federal Governments to withdraw their $150 million grants to this polluting and uneconomic project.

The VCAT hearing on the matter has been underway since 24 October. The hearing is expected to continue until at least 22 November.

Mr. Jeff Washusen’s expert witness evidence is available on the EPA website

Read more about our legal challenge here 


For further comment:

Victoria McKenzie-McHarg, Environment Victoria: 0428 480 409