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Hydropower investment positions Tasmania as battery of the nation

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PRESS RELEASE

Engineering work is underway to help make Tasmania the Battery of the Nation.

The Tasmanian Energy Minister, The Hon. Matthew Groom MP, and Hydro Tasmania CEO, Steve Davy, today inspected progress on the Cluny Power Station Upgrade and Refurbishment.

Mr Groom and Mr Davy inspected a turbine runner that’s being upgraded from four to five blades at Hydro Tasmania’s Cambridge engineering workshop.

Once installed at Cluny, the upgraded turbine will boost generation efficiency by about three per cent.

The upgrade will also eliminate the risk of an oil spill by giving the turbine a new water-filled turbine hub (replacing the oil one), and make it more flexible and reliable with a new modern control system.

The Cluny upgrade is part of a major refurbishment of Hydro Tasmania’s Derwent system, which is expected to increase electricity generation by more than 80 gigawatt hours (GWh) each year by 2021 – supporting plans to make Tasmania the renewable Battery of the Nation.

Mr Davy said Tasmania is uniquely placed to help lead Australia through its challenging transition towards cleaner sources of energy.

“We’re well-placed to help make Tasmania the Battery of the Nation,” Mr Davy said. “As the nation’s largest generator of renewable energy, Hydro has the skills and

experience to help create an energy future that’s clean, reliable and affordable.

“At the moment, about 80 per cent of Australia’s electricity comes from coal-fired plants that will eventually close. Tasmania currently provides about five per cent of Australia’s energy.

“By increasing Tasmania’s interconnection, boosting our hydropower system, and further developing the state’s world-class wind power, we could grow that contribution significantly.

“Projects like the Cluny upgrade are about getting the most generation we can out of our existing hydropower assets, by boosting efficiency and reliability.

“Longer-term, the Battery of the Nation vision involves big projects like major pumped storage hydro. But early grass-roots hydropower projects like the Cluny upgrade will also play a vital part,” he said.

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is working with Hydro Tasmania to explorenew pumped storage hydro opportunities around the state.

Those projects could deliver up to 2,500 megawatts of pumped storage generation capacity – which would almost double Hydro Tasmania’s current renewable capacity.

  

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  • Ian

    Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation is like “all dressed up and no place to go”. With a Basslink of 500MW , Tasmania is the penlight battery to the nation, unfortunately. This is an interesting problem because Tasmania has fantastic wind resources and plenty of hydro but its electricity consumption is not that high. Do they put in a new and substantially larger basslink or develop the wind resources in Victoria and use the different types of storage available there?

  • eddierothmanisatool

    davy is dreaming. add the cost of a second interconnector and you have a combined price of at least >$140MWh into a plummeting mainland demand and decapitated morning and evening peak. this is more than PV + storage next year! by the time they build this white elephant in 5-10 years it will be quite clear how ridiculous this “battery of the nation” idea is. by then davy and the current energy minister will be retired. hydro can talk their book all they want. their time is coming to a close. once they lose an MI to distributed gen the taxpayer will be on the hook for the next 20 years mothballing this dinosaur leviathan of stranded assets.

  • eddierothmanisatool

    a >$140MWh (with 2nd interconnector), 8-10 year thought bubble spruiked by a stranded asset CEO. ridiculous spin doctoring.