Xstrata rejects CopperString renewable energy pipe dream

The CopperString renewable energy corridor, from Townsville to Mt Isa, always appeared to be a pipe dream, with fantastic expectations about the reliability of renewable energy generators (wind farms and solar & geothermal power stations). The big problem with renewable energy, of course, is that the supply of power is intermittent as it’s heavily dependent on the weather. It’s simply too big a risk for major industrial power customers. Hence it’s unsurprising that Xstrata has rejected CopperString, as reported in today’s Townsville Bulletin:

THE viability of the $1.5 billion CopperString project is under threat after Xstrata Mount Isa Mines yesterday opted out of the project.

The mine, which is the largest consumer of electricity in Mount Isa, yesterday announced it had agreed to a 17-year electricity and gas supply project.

The CopperString project, which involves constructing a 1000km high-voltage transmission line between Townsville and Mount Isa, was expected to create 5000 jobs and generate $6.5 billion for the region.

But the viability of the project is now under a cloud with Xstrata opting to purchase their electricity supply from Diamantina Power Station consortium from 2013 to 2030, with gas supply and pricing fixed until 2023.

CopperString project director Glenn Stockton said the project was now being reviewed to determine whether it would proceed.

This entry was posted in Energy, North Queensland, Townsville. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Xstrata rejects CopperString renewable energy pipe dream

  1. Happy Heyoka says:

    Well geothermal is 24/7 and the proposed biofuel projects would also be 24/7.

    As for the “reliability” of wind turbines – they have their limitations, but having about several thousand square kilometres of countryside to accumulate over, the “reliability” of wind turbines over any given period of time is increased.

    Solar thermal projects have been shown to produce power for 14-18 hours a day – solar photovoltaic is daylight hours only of course.

    It seems crazy and short sighted to walk away from several billion dollars worth of investments, hundreds of permanent jobs, perhaps thousands of construction jobs for a dozen or so projects just because Xstrata doesn’t want to buy.
    There is nothing that stops AGL from buying power from any or all of the smaller renewable projects.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s