Three more sites have been selected for further investigation into their pumped hydro potential by Hydro Tasmania.

The three sites – at Lake Cethana and Lake Rowallan in the North West, and near Tribute Power Station on the West Coast – were selected from the original list of 14 potential pumped hydro options around the State.

They emerged as the most promising from the studies carried out over the last 20 months as part of a $2 million study jointly funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and Hydro Tasmania.

The study is part of the Battery of the Nation initiative.

The next stage involves a more intensive feasibility study to gather more detailed information and assess the suitability of each of the sites for development. This stage will involve engagement with local communities.

The outcome of this work will be a preferred project that could be taken forward and be ready to operate when 1200MW of additional Bass Strait interconnection comes online.

The announcement follows Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s recent support for the Battery of the Nation initiative through the Federal Government’s Underwriting New Generation Investments (UNGI) program.

The Federal Government also has announced $56 million to fast-track delivery of the Marinus Link project, following the release of an initial feasibility report demonstrating that the business case for a second Bass Strait interconnector stacks up.

These commitments provide a significant boost to the business case for Battery of the Nation that would see Tasmania making a greater contribution to the national electricity market.

The three selected pumped hydro sites represent strong and sustainable development opportunities with the sort of long-term storage options the future national electricity market will need.

  • Lake Cethana – 12 hours of storage capacity in a new upper reservoir
  • Lake Rowallan – 24 hours of storage capacity in a new upper reservoir
  • Tribute – 31 hours of storage by establishing a new connection between Lake Plimsoll and Lake Murchison

Hydro Tasmania CEO Steve Davy said it was an exciting time for Tasmania.

“What we have here are three very strong pumped hydro development options in the state,” Mr Davy said.

“This puts Hydro Tasmania in a great position to select one strong development opportunity that can be ready for more interconnection. We will be working closely with key stakeholders and local communities during this next period of investigations.”

Pumped hydro would not only introduce new hydro capacity into the Tasmanian system, but also inject significant investment into local regions and create new jobs.

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