Residents of Kaukapakapa northwest of Auckland are gearing up for the fight of their lives in an effort to stop Genesis from building a 480 MW gas turbine generating station in the middle of their paddocks. I understand through the grapevine that John Key, after public pressure in the House, has finally agreed to meet the good people from the Kaukapakapa Area Residents and Ratepayers Association Inc. (KARRA)
Despite the project being in his Helensvile electorate, it seems Mr Key was reluctant to meet KARRA until questions in the House embarrased him into making the appointment.
The question I want to ask is what business has Genesis building another large gas plant when it took a government guarantee in order for them to build the E3P plant at Huntly? If E3P wasn’t economic without a government handout, what makes the bigger Rodney plant stack up without one?
The Energy Data File from the MED says we’ll be running seriously short of gas (at least as far as electricity generation is concerned) around 2015. That’s just when Genesis’ mega plant would want to start operating.
Meanwhile, the Electricity Commission, in their July 2008 Draft Statement of Opportunities, has ignored the plant in all but their High Gas Discovery Scenario, because its economics don’t stack up so it never gets included. It doesn’t even make their likely-to-be-built list. So what is going on?
Whose hair-brained, think-big idea was this? Could it even stack up economically to the scrutiny of a real board of directors? Or has our SOE and its shareholding Minister lost the plot?
Should we be committing to another 30 years of over priced fossil fuelled generation when we have peak oil and climate change beating down our door? That’s what I would like to know, and I am sure that those behind the Stop Rodney Power Station website would like to know too. Keep us posted!