TasNetworks is assessing options for Marinus Link, which will provide up to 1500MW of new interconnection between Tasmania and the rest of the National Electricity Market (NEM).

Hydro Tasmania Chief Executive Officer, Steve Davy, has welcomed TasNetworks’ plans, saying Hydro Tasmania stands ready to respond to the needs of the market.

“More interconnection will unlock Tasmania’s full renewable energy potential, providing clean, reliable and affordable energy to support a resilient future energy market,“ Mr Davy said.

“We have more than 400MW of latent capacity and ample opportunities, both in optimising our existing asset base and in our highly competitive pumped hydro development options. In particular, our existing and potential long duration (deep) storages allow us flexibility in optimising our assets and operations to best meet future market requirements.”

Hydro Tasmania’s recently completed pre-feasibility study, jointly funded with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), has identified a strong portfolio of cost-competitive future pumped hydro opportunities, with a combined capacity of 3400MW.

“This is the sort of long duration storage the future electricity market will need as it transitions to greater penetration of variable renewable sources,” Mr Davy said.

“Work has already begun on a full feasibility assessment of our three top priority pumped hydro opportunities at Lake Cethana and Lake Rowallan in the North West and near Tribute Power Station on the West Coast. Geotechnical work has started in the Mersey-Forth, with site preparations to allow for the start of geotechnical drilling in October.

“As well as these promising sites, the pre-feasibility study has identified another three options that form a future pipeline of potential pumped hydro development – at Yingina/Great Lake in central Tasmania, Lake Parangana in the state’s North West and between Lakes Margaret and Burbury on the West Coast.

“This pipeline of future projects brings significant optionality and flexibility, as these opportunities can be developed in stages as the electricity market transforms,” Mr Davy said.

“Hydro Tasmania will continue to work with TasNetworks and the Federal and Tasmanian Governments to identify options that maximise the value of any interconnector investment and ensure best outcomes for Tasmanians and customers in the broader national electricity market.”

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