Tamar Valley Power Station – Clarification

5 July 2017

A front page report in today’s Mercury newspaper claiming that Hydro Tasmania has been “forced to fire up the Tamar Valley Power Station (TVPS)” is completely incorrect.

It was repeatedly made clear to The Mercury (and one other media outlet) yesterday that the Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT) at the Tamar Valley Power Station is not currently operating, and has not operated since 11 June.

The Mercury was informally provided with the following information:

“CCGT is off, as discussed.

“It’s economic to run the smaller Trent unit at the moment (for peaking purposes, etc), so that’s on and off a bit.”

Hydro Tasmania also made it clear to The Mercury that storage levels are very secure for this time of year, operations are routine, and there is no current or imminent concern about energy security.

The Mercury was also provided with the following comments from Hydro Tasmania CEO, Steve Davy:

“Our storages are in a strong position at 34.7 per cent (as of Monday 3-7-2017), as we approach what’s usually the wettest part of the year.

“Despite a fairly dry autumn and June, we comfortably exceeded our storage target of 30 per cent at the end of June.

“While the Energy Security Taskforce deliberates, Hydro Tasmania has managed storages with extra conservatism, and taken steps to further enhance climate modelling.

“It’s a mark of how strongly Tasmania has recovered from the events of 2015/16 that the Australian and Tasmanian governments are now looking to expand the state’s renewable energy output and make Tasmania the Battery of the Nation.”

Hydro Tasmania has requested a prominent correction from The Mercury, as the headline of the story in particular does not accurately reflect the situation, and could cause unnecessary concern.

The Combined Cycle Gas Turbine at the Tamar Valley Power Station was routinely operated from mid-January, ceasing operation on 11 June. The operation was extended from late-March because conditions were dryer than usual.

The CCGT at the TVPS is one component of Tasmania’s energy security, along with hydropower, wind and the Basslink interconnector. Hydro Tasmania will run the CCGT, as required, based on energy security and market factors. These are routine operational decisions that are visible to the National Energy Market, Tasmanians and the media.

It is understandable that the events of 2015/16 have generated extra media interest in energy matters. However, while being completely transparent to the market and media (subject to commercial limitations), Hydro Tasmania does not intend to make pro-active media announcements about every routine operational decision it makes.

Ends.

Released for Hydro Tasmania by Rowan Dix, (03) 62305330 / 0409 722359 / media@hydro.com.au.