May 17, 2013

Sydney spinners sail to King Island for anti-turbine fight

The PR war over wind turbines on King Island is heating up as professional operatives jump on board. Ben Haslem and John Wells are backing the No TasWind Farm Group to run the project off the island.

Andrew Crook — Former <em>Crikey</em> Senior Journalist

Andrew Crook

Former Crikey Senior Journalist

Two blue-chip Sydney PR operatives that represented the Exclusive Brethren, Scientology and James Hardie have sailed into a bitter fight over a $2 billion wind farm development on King Island.


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9 thoughts on “Sydney spinners sail to King Island for anti-turbine fight

  1. Ken Dally

    Assured income and clean energy from turbines to back up your variable agriculture income. With a caveats on ensuring no adverse impact on bird colonies sounds like a massive win that only an idiot would reject.

    Oh yes, idiots abound.

  2. The Old Bill

    Oh dear, sounds like we will just have to go back to the dark ages of coal and the threat of nuclear winters.
    Two choices folks:
    Clean energy and its attendant unsightliness.
    Bomb all those third world countries into oblivion and revegetate them, that way we can continue to pollute for another few hundred years.
    (Just about to have one of these wind farms built near us after 10 years of planning and the ill considered outcry from a few is ridiculous. Apparently the infrasound will give me nightmares AND cancer. Trouble is I have lived right under one in France without any problem and no peer reviewed study has shown otherwise.)

  3. Mark Duffett

    So this was cooked up in a PR workshop?


  4. John Bennetts

    Worry not, boys and girls. A few billion dollars for the turbines and anciliaries, plus another for an undersea cable, all to harvest about 600MW half of the year.

    That equals 2,400,000MWh/year.

    The current average wholesale price for power in the NEM has stuck at $50/MWh for the past several years.

    Will a total gross income of $120M pay the interest, maintenance and operating costs on $3B with enough left over for the shareholders’ dividends?

    Allowing 5% interest pa and say 30% of gross income for maintenance and operating costs, we account for costs of $150M + $40M = $190M.

    Hold on! There’s only $120 coming in! We are $70M down the tubes in Year One and worse thereafter.

    Thus, no shareholders’ dividend.

    No wind farm, without about a billion dollars of government support.

    Sounds like kite flying to me. I wonder what the real proposal looks like.

  5. Jonathan Maddox

    What’s with the Swiss phone number (in a discontinued area code) for the Neutral Bay law firm? Is it some kind of pun?

  6. Stephen

    Subject of this coming Sunday’s Background Briefing.

  7. Alistair Campbell

    King Island’s wind power is a real pioneering success story. It regularly achieves 60% wind penetration and more by using a new type of power control.
    (live data: http://www.kingislandrenewableenergy.com.au/)
    If this is be scaled up for mainland projects, then wind’s potential share of the energy market increases markedly.

    That’s why the big end of town is worried – they want to sell their fossil fuels – so their puppets are sent in to scare the town – quite simple really, and just so transparent.

  8. Mark Duffett

    Just clicked on Alistair’s link – King Island renewable penetration currently standing at a grand 0.4%.

    Just saying.

  9. Alistair Campbell

    The gens on King Island use sea-transported diesel, currently using over 500 litres/hour – so every bit helps.
    Big front heading for Perth this week, it’ll be at King Island a few days after – keep watching.

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