Second Bass Strait interconnector reaches new milestone

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The $20 million Project Marinus has reached its first milestone, with TasNetworks releasing the Initial Feasibility Report considering a second Bass Strait electricity interconnector, Marinus Link.

The release of the report coincides with the announcement by the Commonwealth Government of $56 million to fast track the development of Marinus Link.

“The Tasmanian Government’s Marinus Link and Battery of the Nation Current Situation Assessment report sets the strategic context, with Marinus Link being a critical enabling component,” TasNetworks CEO Mr Lance Balcombe says.

Mr Balcombe, stated, “Our Initial Feasibility Report shows that based on the work to date, Marinus Link is technically feasible and economically viable under a number of plausible scenarios. Therefore, we should continue to progress the work on Marinus Link, to support a transforming energy market.”

Favourable routes have been identified that are feasible and likely to obtain environmental and planning approvals. The favourable routes connect the existing electricity transmission network in the Sheffield or Burnie areas in north-west Tasmania with the transmission network in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley. The link will utilise high voltage direct current (HVDC) cable to cross Bass Strait and modern converter station technology designed to support a transforming power system.

Energy Networks Australia CEO, Andrew Dillon, has welcomed the announcement.

“This project has the potential to bring up to 1,200MW more renewable energy into the National Energy Market,” Mr Dillon said.

“Interconnection between markets provides greater flexibility, better reliability and can deliver more affordable electricity for customers.”

“The is a worldwide trend towards increasing interconnection to manage growing levels of variable renewable generation and it is pleasing to see growing recognition of that need here in Australia,” Mr Dillon said.

Bess Clark, General Manager Project Marinus, said, “The National Electricity Market (NEM) is going through unprecedented change, with the retirement of coal-fired generators and increasing penetration of intermittent renewable generation such as wind and solar. This is changing the way electricity is produced, transported and used. The NEM will need an interconnected grid, dispatchable on-demand energy and long duration storage to meet customer energy needs at lowest cost. Our analysis shows that Marinus Link can support these outcomes.”

ARENA CEO, Darren Miller, said, “The Initial Feasibility Report findings demonstrate how a second interconnector could help unlock Tasmania’s potential as the battery of the nation while also providing grid security and reliable supply to both Tasmania and Victoria.”

The Initial Feasibility Report is available to download from the Project Marinus website https://projectmarinus.tasnetworks.com.au/initial-feasibility-report/

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