New power projects slated to prevent Australian blackouts: energy minister

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-01 14:16:59|Editor: mym
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CANBERRA, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- The Australian government will consider up to 10 new power generation projects to prevent future blackouts.

Angus Taylor, the Minister for Energy and the Environment, on Friday confirmed that 66 investors had made submissions for government funding to develop "firm" generation capacity - including two submissions for "clean" coal-fired plants.

Of the 66 submissions, 10 were entirely geared around coal but only two were for high efficiency, low emissions (HELE) plants.

The submissions represent an additional 29,000 megawatts (MW) of power generation.

Approximately 200,000 homes in Victoria were left without power in late January as demand for electricity surged during an extreme heatwave.

The Victorian Government in 2017 refused to step-in and prevent the Hazelwood Power Station, one of the world's dirtiest coal-fired stations, from closing - a move that reduced Victoria's energy production capacity by 1600MW.

"We're moving as quickly as possible," Taylor wrote in a column appearing in The Australian newspaper on Friday, saying the government was moving quickly to evaluate the proposals.

"It's urgent to solve this problem, but of course the projects need to stack up."

He confirmed that the proposals included an even mix of coal, gas and hydro-electric projects.

"Early analysis indicates that the strongest interest was in gas, with projects and sites identified in Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia," he wrote.