Basslink and forests

The proposal to connect the electricity grids of Tasmania and Victoria (via Basslink) has come under fire in recent weeks due to fears that Victorians will be buying energy generated by the cutting down, pulverising and incineration of Tasmanian forests.

These fears have met with strong denials from the proponent of Basslink (BPL). They argue that only wind and hydro power will be sent through the Basslink cable. In fact Basslink P/L wont have any say as to what goes through that cable.

Forestry Tasmania is the proponent for the soon-to-be-commissioned Southwood Project – a wood-fired power station in the Huon Valley. It will burn 300,000 tonnes per annum of native forest woodchips to run a 50 Mega Watt power station operating 8000 hours a year. Southwood is the first of three government proposals to build native forest woodchip furnaces to generate electricity. A staggering 164,000 ha of old growth forest are part of the 344,000 ha (a third of East Gippslands area) of forest made available to Southwood in its permit from the Huon Council. The other two furnaces are proposed for the Styx and the Tarkine.

In times of off-peak, Tasmania will be buying our coal-generated power while saving their water for the peak times such as summer to power air conditioners across the land.

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