Tasmania talks up renewables, ignores battery storage, gets stuck on gas | RenewEconomy

Tasmania talks up renewables, ignores battery storage, gets stuck on gas

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Tasmanian Energy Security report reasserts the importance of more diverse renewable energy supply. But ignores battery storage.

Woolnorth wind farm, Tasmania
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The Tasmanian government has recommitted to plans to add up to 1000GWh of new renewable generation to the state’s power mix, making it “energy self-sufficient” by 2022, in response to the final report from the state’s Energy Security Taskforce.

Woolnorth wind farm, Tasmania
Woolnorth wind farm, Tasmania

The taskforce was set up in the wake of the island’s 2015-16 six-month energy supply crisis, which arose from a combination of severely restricted hydro resources and the failure of the Basslink cable, linking Tasmania to the mainland grid.

The sudden strain on supply resulted in the state recommissioning the mothballed 388MW Tamar Valley (combined cycle gas) Power Station, as well employing a host of diesel gen-sets that cost the government-owned HydroTasmania a whopping $1,163 per megawatt-hour.

The final report from the Tasmania Energy Security Taskforce, released to the public on Wednesday this week, has delivered a suite of recommendations to the Liberal Hodgman government to help avoid such a scenario happening again. The government has since pledged to implement the recommended energy security measures within months.

The recommendations are divided into five key areas, including strengthening independent energy security monitoring and assessment; improved framework for water storage management; keeping the government-owned Tamar Valley gas plant handy for backup; and support for new on island generation and customer innovation.

But apart from noting the future role household solar and batteries could play in managing demand response at a grid level, the report has little to say about the potential role of energy storage in boosting security of supply, ruling most battery applications as too expensive and too limited in their current technology.

“The Taskforce concludes that until there are significant decreases in battery costs and technology, or significant changes to current electricity pricing, adding a battery system represents a significant additional cost to the household that is not offset by reducing the cost of peak electricity,” the report says.

“This partly reflects the unique aspects of Tasmania’s electricity situation, in that Tasmania is generally not capacity constrained (except for some remote locations),” it adds.

On large-scale battery storage, the report says very little, except to acknowledge the support the technology is getting on the mainland.

It does better on renewables, however, noting that the “current on-island energy deficit” can be helped by building additional projects, “which will also serve to diversify the State’s generation mix and reduce its dependence on energy imports.

“Tasmania has a world class wind resource, but the cost competitiveness of wind could be challenged over time as the cost of other technologies decline. Large-scale solar development should not be
dismissed, despite Tasmania’s resource being relatively more limited than mainland Australia.”

On behind the meter solar and storage, the report says small-scale renewables, such as household solar and storage, “has the potential to make a small contribution to reducing Tasmania’s on-island energy deficit, but provides ‘consumer-level energy security’, whereby consumers perceive they have greater energy security when they are able to control some of their supply and demand.”

It also notes that a more technologically advanced network could also improve the grid reliability “(particularly in the face of future challenges) and minimise the impact of emergency power
restrictions if they were ever needed.”

The renewables section ends, however, on a bit of a dull note, saying that “the progression of solar PV, battery storage and EVs depends on a range of factors that are largely beyond the control of the Tasmanian government.

“The ability for Tasmania to significantly influence or control these factors creates uncertainty over their value to, and impact on, the energy security of the stationary energy sector.”

On gas, meanwhile, it is much clearer. The report recommends the government holds onto the Tamar Valley gas plant, as a back-up power station for the island’s grid, and “to provide clarity” to its gas market.

That’s because, before the energy crisis, HydroTas had planned to offload Tamar Valley – which it had mothballed in June 2014 – after declaring in August 2015 it was no longer required for energy security. Of course, not long after that declaration, things went pear-shaped, and gas came right back into the spotlight.

“Natural gas is an important energy diversification today that holds important optionality for the future,” the report says.

But a note elsewhere in the report suggests that the plant, which has again been switched off, would take up to two weeks to get up and running.

“A component of the Energy Supply Plan was returning the CCGT to service. The unit had been in dry lay-up since June 2014. … (It) was successfully returned to service on 20 January 2016 and operated until 19 May 2016 when it was no longer required as there was ample hydro and wind generation available to meet Tasmanian demand. It remains in standby mode and can be brought online within two weeks,” the report said.

It also notes that gas current gas supply contracts to the island end in December 2017, a situation it says must be remedied quickly.

“The transportation of gas to Tasmania is currently contracted until December 2017. Arrangements beyond that date are currently under negotiation. The Taskforce considers it important to see those arrangements in place and a timely resolution is urged, whether by commercial agreement or by using proposed national gas arbitration reforms.”

The report has also recommended that the state’s hydro storage settings remain set at a minimum level of 30 percent, having more recently been switched to a lower preferred minimum level of 25 per cent at 1 July each year.

According to the report, that change was based on Hydro Tasmania’s assessment that the combination of Basslink and gas power from Tamar Valley Power Station (TVPS), together with increased wind generation capacity and changed demand projections would result in the ability to operate storages at the lower levels.

“The reduction in preferred minimum operating level saw the storage buffer to the medium risk line reduced by approximately 700GWh,” it said.

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  1. Peter F 3 years ago

    Batteries are probably of little value in Tasmania, because hydro is much cheaper. Another 300MW of wind would make them energy independent and about 140MW of that is already contracted.
    So as long as they follow through the value of Basslink for them will be mainly as an export conduit or to import negative price power from the mainland to preserve their hydro reserves.
    Of course because they already have excellent wind resources, more than enough backup and a pretty good grid they could install a couple of GW of wind and attract a lot more energy intensive industries, expand Bell Bay etc.

    • Alastair Leith 3 years ago

      How much of Tassie hydro has bottom ponds for PHES though? They’ve already damaged many previously pristine environments to build the hydro, they wouldn’t want to go trashing it further.

      • Peter F 3 years ago

        If they have 300MW of additional wind they don’t need any pumped hydro. They could however connect a couple of their existing dams and add pumped hydro powered either by wind or imports but I don’t see the value in that.

        • Mike Westerman 3 years ago

          The value will come when Tas electrifies it’s transport sector. It will then need more wind to provide the energy, and more hydro to cover the demand. I don’t think it should build out more hydro anywhere which means additional capacity would need to be off stream using PHES.

      • Mike Westerman 3 years ago

        Alastair – see my post above to Tom – there’s an excellent low impact site below Arthur’s Lake.

  2. Chris Schneider 3 years ago

    Why do these article always need to paint it in a bad light? Tasmania is already well and truly able to avoid Battery Storage in the traditional sense. SA needed to look at it because they need a quick solution. Tasmania has a peak demand of 1766MW This hasn’t accord for a few years! They have 2047MW of Hydro plan. Every MW of wind is basically like storing it in the dam. They have the ability now to power the entire state from Hydro, wind will allow them to keep some of the water in the dams which is ten times cheaper and better than batteries, specially when it’s already there! I guess they were talking about the liberal government so it can’t come out smelling like roses!

    Fact is, Tasmania is basically 100% renewable now, wind just allows them to either store it when prices are low on the main land or sell it at a consistent flow (much more valuable), using the Hydro to create a “base load” with the wind.

    • Alastair Leith 3 years ago

      Maybe you missed the bit where hydro was drained for the windfall profits in last months of CT and then the summer rains didn’t come (oh, this was a surprise). If hydro was sticking around at 70% full then you’d have a winning point.

      More renewables and it can return to that level, given bottom ponds to catch the water and Climate Change doesn’t destroy the rainfall patterns.

      • Chris Schneider 3 years ago

        I didn’t that’s why Pumped hydro will be a critical part of the solution but It’s not something that needs rushing. As someone has already shown when the dams ran out they were being over used.

  3. Mike Westerman 3 years ago

    I think you can pretty safely put retention of the TVPS in the junk politics category. I’m not surprised at the conclusions around batteries, as when you have batteries already installed by way of the stored energy in all their hydro reservoirs, they do seem a little superfluous. What I find strange in the report is that it is so short sighted re both energy consumption and security. It’s as though magically petrol and diesel simply appear on the island, rather than being brought from the mainland at some cost and environmental risk, while the obvious solution of a policy of transport electrification would allow more efficient and effective matching of supply and demand, as well as increased energy security. Having demand that is more predominantly curtailable improves the effective use of supply that is more intermittent, and the security benefit of displacing imported fossil fuel with local renewable energy should be patently obvious.

    • Ian 3 years ago

      Quite right, Tasmania is demand-constrained, their minimum demand is in the 600 MW range and maximum 1700MW . Hydro can happily match this demand profile but wind generates at its own pace. The maximum wind installation would then be the capacity of the Basslink and the minimum Tasmanian demand, otherwise wind would need to be curtailed or some electricity storage built or a dispatchable demand profile created. Distributed storage can create flexibility in demand and in the form of EV, create more electricity demand. Tasmania is a perfect proving ground for EV given its small and insular nature and its abundance of renewable resources.

      • Tom 3 years ago

        Regarding demand constraints – it’s a bit more complicated than this.

        Over the last 12 years, 23% of the time there have been dams full or near-full with the capacity to generate between 500-1000MW of power, and 15% of the time there have been dams full or near-full with the capacity to generate between 1000-1500MW of power.

        If the hydro turbines were not generating this power, the water (more water) would have spilled over the tops of dams instead.

        Also, the “minimum demand” is a bit more than 600MW – more like 850MW. The “Big 4” between them use 630MW 24/7 alone.

        So, at night the limit for wind/solar is 850MW+500MW(Basslink) for 77% of the year, but is only 350MW or less for 15% of the year. (Of course, this is an average, 2016 was generating over 1000MW from spilling or near-spilling dams for 23 weeks, whereas 2014 and 2015 did not enter this scenario at all).

        Mind you – a little bit of wasted energy is not the end of the world. It may well cost more to try to store or sell every last MWh than it what would be foregone in wasting it. The wastage (or the cost of trying to store/ sell it) just needs to be factored into the PPAs.

        • Chris Schneider 3 years ago

          great summary, thanks. I guess reality is waste Wind or let a dam spill is the same thing, if the dam can spill safely I think that is better just because it ensures the dam is always full. I would think that is not the problem batteries are attempting to solve though.

          I would think it was trying to solve running out of water. Wind would allow dams with less water to be turned off increasing their storage over time. This would mean more is available when needed. Maybe thinking about some pumped hydro would ensure this but I can’t see it being a priority in a state that runs on so much hydro already. I genuinely believe Tasmania already has it’s storage sorted.

          It would be interesting to see the actually numbers for dams requiring to run hydro plants to stop the dam from spilling as a pose to those running for load.

          • Charles 3 years ago

            In many cases it would probably be a better option to let the dam spill, since many of the schemes are along the same river and the water will still be used on the next dam (assuming of course, that they aren’t all spilling)

          • Mike Westerman 3 years ago

            And at full supply level or spilling, the head is greater so more power/energy available with each cube of water

          • Tom 3 years ago

            Only a couple of percent for most of them. Lake Gordon is the only dam where the difference in head is significant.

          • Mike Westerman 3 years ago

            It looks like the levels in Lake King William could vary enough to make a big difference to Butler’s Gorge directly and flows to Tarraleah if they are affected.

          • Tom 3 years ago

            Butlers Gorge power station is only 12MW. Yes, it would lose generating efficiency as the lake draws down, buy nobody relies on Butlers Gorge for its energy.

            The primary purpose of Butlers Gorge power station is to regulate release of up to 42 cubic metres per second of water for the 19km long Tarraleah canals, headed for Tarraleah power station which generates 90MW from this same water, and then travels through the 6 power stations of the Lower Derwent, generating another 91MW combined.

            The 12MW that Butlers Gorge generates is a bonus, nothing else. It’s the 191MW that this water generates downstream that counts.

            Effectively the 29m of potential head variation (and I’ve never seen it more than 15m below FSL) of Lake King William is the top 29m of a 600m water column.

          • Mike Westerman 3 years ago

            Thanks Tom – I figure some of that but wondered if low levels limited outflow from LKW? How did it fare during the drought?

          • Tom 3 years ago

            It got down to 18% full. I’m not sure how that equates in terms of metres below FSL.

            It wouldn’t have limited outflow. They’ve got valves too if they need them – mostly for when it’s about to spill, but they’d work of the generator jammed up or something. Also, the rate of decline in its level (measured in GWh of storage) was pretty consistent (there was a bit of a rain here and there in Autumn which made it not drop as much those weeks).

            It had about 6 weeks of flat-out generation remaining. Lucky last winter it started pouring with rain on May 1st and never stopped. If this winter was last winter we would have been in deep strife.

          • Alastair Leith 3 years ago

            I guess reality is waste Wind or let a dam spill is the same thing, if the dam can spill safely I think that is better just because it ensures the dam is always full.

            Well as natural as possible river flows for environmental should be a goal and constraint on these decisions (of course it probably isn’t or how would hydro have got built in the first place).

        • Ian 3 years ago

          In a demand constrained world as experienced in Tasmania at times when dams are full to overflowing and when wind generation is at maximum then distributed battery , pumped hydro and EV would be very useful to utilise this excess. Part of the subsidy to encourage EV and home battery storage could be free electricity on those days of excess. By being generous Tasmania could build a more resilient and flexible consumer load.

          • Tom 3 years ago

            Disagree on the battery and pumped hydro thing, totally agree on the EV thing.

            Batteries – waaaay to expensive for Tassie. SA’s battery is really for FCAS – fair enough. For energy storage when there are no other options – maybe. But to capture the last few drops of energy when you’ve already got plenty of storage plus a Basslink cable – it’s never going to add up.

            Pumped hydro – a tricky one. The question is – WHERE? Existing dams would all be spilling in the really wet times, except for Lake Echo, Lake Gordon, Arthur’s Lake, and Great Lake. And these are tens of kilometres away from each other with pristine wilderness between them. This means that there would be a lot of environmental destruction in constructing the pipelines, they would have a low up-down efficiency due to friction losses, and they would be very expensive.

            Creating new upper- or lower- dams would again be expensive and destructive, and I don’t think the environmental destruction would be accepted by Tasmanians. Also, any state in Australia can construct new upper- or lower- dams – where is Tasmania’s competitive advantage in doing the same thing?

            Mind you – I agree with pumped hydro up some existing dams, with the understanding that they will be useless 20% of the time when those dams are spilling. They won’t be needed until we’ve got >1500MW of non-hydro renewable capacity, but they will be cheap, efficient, and they will help.

            Demand management is very much the future. Imagine if there was a new tariff with no “daily connection charge” or “installation charge” which offered to heat your hot water from its normal limit of 70 degrees right up to 90 degrees for 6 cents/kWh in times of surplus power, as long as you allowed them to turn it on and sell it to you without you knowing (remotely and automatically). There are about 200,000 households in Tasmania – if 100,000 of them went for this and if they had 250L hot water tanks with a 3.6kW element, then this is 360MW of extra demand 2 hours.

            Basslink is only 500MW – this form of demand management has just created 2/3 of a second Basslink. Even if it cost $2000 per house to install – $200 million is lots less than the “estimated” $1.1 billion for a second Basslink.

            You could add EVs to demand management, but there needs to be something in it for the power companies. If you were going to charge your car anyway then why would the power company give it to you for free?

            Maybe your battery management system could only charge your car to 2/3 full (since you’re probably only going to drive 50km the next day anyway), unless remotely switched on by the power company to “top it up” due to grid power surplus.

            PS – just re-read you comment – “distributed” batteries, ie, domestic Powerwall 2s and the like.

            I agree with this – but like my EV statement – there would have to be some sort of agreement with the power company to leave capacity empty until triggered by the power company. If you’ve got decent solar, I’m not sure you’d be up for this – you’d try to drain it as much as possible without buying energy from the grid and then hopefully re-charge it the next day.

          • Mike Westerman 3 years ago

            Tom the most obvious place for pumped hydro would be Arthur’s Lake as the upper pond, and a lower pond created by building a 25m or so wall at 41deg 52.9′ S 147deg 4.8′ E to impound a 390ha reservoir at EL230. This gives you 700m head so with about 6m range you have 35GWh. The powerhouse would be similar to Poatina so virtually no impact. I’d be surprised if HT/Entura weren’t looking at this site – if they aren’t maybe they should.

          • Tom 3 years ago

            Big job – $1 billion plus I think. 8km of tunnel before the penstock begins.

            Transmission lines are nearby, which would help. Also you could decommission Tod’s Corner which would be a cost saving.

            No doubt it would work, but how much revenue would it potentially generate? There aren’t that many weeks in a year that it would be required; and it wouldn’t actually produce any energy – it would just capture some that would otherwise be wasted and it may participate in arbitrage – making money if they get their bets right but actually costing energy.

            It might happen, but I wouldn’t count on it.

          • Alastair Leith 3 years ago

            If capacity is not a big issue today or tomorrow with more wind and PV BTM then capture in PHES is as good as generation.

          • Alastair Leith 3 years ago

            Imagine if there was a new tariff with no “daily connection charge” or “installation charge” which offered to heat your hot water from its normal limit of 70 degrees right up to 90 degrees for 6 cents/kWh in times of surplus power, as long as you allowed them to turn it on and sell it to you without you knowing (remotely and automatically). There are about 200,000 households in Tasmania – if 100,000 of them went for this and if they had 250L hot water tanks with a 3.6kW element, then this is 360MW of extra demand 2 hours.

            Yes then some of that wood energy (see graph above from Tom) used for domestic heating (looks like 5-10 times the energy of wind generation over a year) could be cut back on with hydronic under floor and wall panel heating. Better air quality and less CO2, and forest destruction.

          • Alastair Leith 3 years ago

            Creating new upper- or lower- dams would again be expensive and destructive, and I don’t think the environmental destruction would be accepted by Tasmanians.

            Is there no previously cleared land that could use turkey nest dams with a 200-800m fall? Would make more money than grazing sheep (and probably less methane too).

  4. onesecond 3 years ago

    Build the wind turbines already, it was clear years ago that wind and hydro in Tasmania are a match made in heaven, a task force really wasn’t needed to understand this.

    • Alastair Leith 3 years ago

      Task force required to obfuscate in line with federal Liberal Party mantras and single line of attack on Labor and Greens in all state contests though 🙂

  5. Tom 3 years ago

    I’ve got so much to say about this – I’ll try to keep it brief.

    Firstly, it’s absolutely correct that Tasmania does not need large scale batteries. We’ve got energy storage (if utilised correctly, which it hasn’t been), and hydro turbines can “black start”, so we don’t need batteries for FCAS either.

    Secondly, we don’t need gas. The Tamar Valley Power Station (TVPS) has a role in energy security in that by running it over summer/autumn it allows the dams to not drain as much as they otherwise would, thereby allowing them to fill up over a period of years. Basslink can provide exactly the same function. We only need one or the other.

    Thirdly, the elephant in the room – the key to energy security – is FULL DAMS. Not completely full, but I’d suggest a July 1 target of 60% – not this 25% or 30% rubbish. Neither Basslink nor TVPS can provide energy security when the dams become too empty. They don’t supply enough power, they’re unreliable, and Tassie would be betroven to pay whatever the spot price for mainland electricity or gas is at the time.

    If the dams were 70% full on December 21 2015, it would have made half a column in Page 5 of the newspaper once, and nobody would have worried.

    Fourth – Tasmania actually has a pretty good solar resource on the Eastern half of the North coast (George Town to Musselroe). It’s better Melbourne, similar to Adelaide or Sydney.

    PV is good for Tassie because it would generate more of its energy when the dams are not spilling, and because its simpler to install and maintain than wind. However, wind has a better capacity factor (more MWh per year for less peak power output) and is slightly cheaper per MWh.

    I think PV and wind would work well together in Tassie. Imagine if the “demand constraint” (local demand plus Basslink) was 1600MW in summer and no dams were spilling. If you had 2000MW of installed wind capacity, there would be many windy days that energy would be wasted. However, if you had 1000MW of installed wind capacity and 1000MW of installed solar capacity, there would be less times that they are both generating at absolute capacity and that energy is being wasted.

    Fifth and final – the history of the Tasmanian Gas Pipeline (TGP) is shady from the beginning, cloaked in dodgy deals and favours for political gain. The “political gain” is that bringing mains gas to Tasmania is such a wonderful and modern thing to do (even though it was never an economic or sustainable thing to do).

    Rather than the Tassie government just building it themselves they created TGP via some complex private public partnership. But to make it more profitable for the private company to build Tasmania had to increase demand, so they converted Bell Bay Power Station from oil (which was working fine) to gas. Hence the Tassie Government’s state owned power enterprises promised to be the major customer (75% of consumption) of the private gas transmission pipeline that the Tassie government should have just built themselves in the first place.

    Now we have the situation where there are a few industries and residences that have installed mains gas infrastructure and are somewhat dependant on it, Tassie doesn’t really need it for electricity generation, but because TVPS is 75% of demand if they don’t continue to use it then the transmission costs will skyrocket for the remaining users who use the other 25%. And this private company TGP (now owned by an investment company that also owns multiple toll roads and hospitals in dodgy PPPs) is holding the Tassie government (Hydro) to ransom in trying to fleece them for a better deal (ie, a worse deal for Tassie.)

    • Chris Schneider 3 years ago

      That’s an interesting comment given the Gas power is rarely turned on in Tasmania. Are you sure this is correct?

      • Tom 3 years ago

        Yes it’s correct. The “take or pay” contract between TVPS and TGP is for TVPS to use 20PJ of gas per year. If TVPS does not use this much, then they still pay TGP as if they were supplied with 20PJ. However, I calculate TVPS only uses about 6PJ pa.

        The rest of Tasmania uses about 2.5PJ pa.

        The pipeline can transmit about 120TJ per day, which means it can supply Tasmania’s entire annual demand in 10 weeks.

        Check this out (from 2014-15):

        • Chris Schneider 3 years ago

          Crazy! Your first reply shows why AEMO isn’t working. There needs to be a buying agent for each state which gets the best deal at least! and allows them to have back up! Tasmania should be totally secure already!

          Your second reply is really interesting, wood? As in for heating? It would be interesting to see this image over time. What would it be like this year, Gas has been on for very little time this year and only ever in little amounts.

        • Alastair Leith 3 years ago

          About 5-10 times as much wood energy used as wind generated, this needs to change pronto! (and maybe 1000x as much as PV?!).

          • Tom 3 years ago

            I think we’ve got about 90MW of installed rooftop PV. Being rooftop the “fleet” probably runs at a capacity of 15% or a bit under, so 110-120GWh pa. Wind generates about 900-1000GWh pa depending on the year.

            I think most solar is “behind the meter”, so it is hard for the government to exactly measure output. It just shows up as reduced demand for electricity overall.

            As for wood – hard for me to criticise because I’m in front of my wood fire right now. I buy it in from a registered firewood dealer, there are laws about where they can source their wood, I just hope those laws are actually enforced.

      • Tom 3 years ago

        Just found this table.

        Looks like in the build-up to the carbon tax there was more gas used (thermal generation). Still only about half of the 20PJ though (the CCGT should use about 6.5TJ per GWh, the OCGTs would use about 10TJ/GWh).

        Also, check out Basslink imports & exports in 2012-13 and 2013-14 (the carbon tax years), and tell me the real reason that Tassie had a power crisis in the summer/autumn of 2015-16? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/92ac48e173b4514110ef15f1378c13040ab68abc6ef639dbd4523a53622613e4.png

        • Alastair Leith 3 years ago

          They drained the bath to take windfall profits in last month to two of CT. I think MEI wrote a report on it, certainly energy economist Dylan McConnell, formerly with MEI and now with Australian-German Climate & Energy College has made this point several times.

    • Mike Westerman 3 years ago

      Thanks Tom – I hadn’t realised the solar in the north east was so good. Yes the TGP deal was a dud from the start – how anyone thought a gas fired power station in a hydro state made even enough sense to not look dodgy is beyond me. If Tas can now push hard on electrifying their transport system, they would add substantially to the average demand and max more RE viable. They could also add a multi-day 500MW pumped hydro to Arthur’s Lake to give them the extra power needed if the wind is calm.

    • Barri Mundee 3 years ago

      Why oh why do governments compromise their options by PPS??

      • Tom 3 years ago

        a) Because they’re conflicted (I won’t use the word “corrupt” but I’ll come close).
        b) Because they’re shit-scared of having debt on their balance sheet and would rather pay 3 times as much over the term of the agreement than just carrying their own debt. It’s not their money after all – it’s YOUR money.
        c) Because the private companies hire ex-senior-public servants from the relevant department (who are then replaced by a junior), so actually the private companies know the laws and regulations better than the government does. The contract never favours the government.

        • Barri Mundee 3 years ago

          Mike and Tom: I completely agree. Another manifestation of neoliberalism that is hurting the country. I think the demonisation of public debt is responsible for this, both state and federally.

      • Mike Westerman 3 years ago

        In theory, they were meant to bring the best of both worlds to projects: the “efficiency” of the private sector and the “integrity” of the public, to optimise risk allocation. But because both of these claims are fallacious, of course in reality the private partner shifted risk to the public, and the public partner tried to avoid accountability by the shroud of “commercial in confidence”.

        • Alastair Leith 3 years ago

          and corruption

    • Alastair Leith 3 years ago

      Can you tell us what the capacity of the PHES is? Not just the hydro generation capacity but the amount of generation that is also capable of storing the spent water below the dam wall and pumping it up when low priced energy is available.

      • Tom 3 years ago

        We don’t have any pumped hydro generation in Tasmania at this stage.

        We have pumps to transfer from one dam to another dam (Lake Newton, Arthur’s Lake), but their function is not to store surplus energy per se. Rather, to increase the effective catchment for a generator.

        The only way we can “store” non-hydro energy in our dams is to not use the dams and save the stored water for later, and the only way we can “recharge” our reservoirs is to dance the rain dance.

        • Alastair Leith 3 years ago

          Thanks, Tom. Given almost all of these dams are in native forest environments it’s unlikely lower ponds and pumps are going to be going in then. Which puts PHES at Turkey nest dams on steep terrain that has already been cleared for farming and preferably close to existing transmission. Same limitations as every other state then!

  6. Kay Schieren 3 years ago

    When the morons of money realise that: the system they love is the imaginary vehicle whereby we will all be wiped out much sooner – it will be much sooner than necessary, unless they realise NOW that money is not a resource, that the “economy is NOT a force of nature but a construct of crazy people – and that four minutes without air will kill us, but that four minutes without money will not be noticed! How bloody stupid can people be and stay alive?

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