Clark Dam

Powering Generations


One hundred years ago, one of the boldest feats of engineering ever envisaged was conceived in one of the most remote corners of the world.

Tasmania’s hydro-electric power scheme was carved out of the state’s harsh interior, by ordinary people working in extraordinary conditions. Construction work in the early years was difficult and dangerous, requiring great resilience, innovation and pioneering spirit. 

Thousands of people, many displaced by hard economic times, war and strife, came from all over the world – not only to help build a mighty power scheme but to make Tasmania their home.

Since 1914, Tasmania’s electricity generator has operated under different names, the changes reflecting our growth and governance. Tasmanians, however, have remained true to one name – ‘the Hydro’ or simply ‘Hydro’.

Our centenary celebrations

We turned 100 in 2014.

This significant milestone for all Tasmanians was worth recognising and celebrating. Our history goes well beyond the corporate story and is part of the living memory of thousands of workers and their families.

As we celebrated the first 100 years, it was an opportunity to give thanks to the men, women and children who made it all possible, and to hear the stories of the people who contributed so much.

We hosted and supported a ranged of events across Tasmania, and were delighted and humbled by the huge response.

We invited Tasmania's young people to imagine the future of energy supply and use, through our Future Thinking schools competition.

Over 6000 people visited our travelling exhibition 100 Years of the Hydro. The mini 'museum' is now located at Tarraleah, where it is still on display.

Hundreds of people attended screenings of our documentary People of the Hydro in Hobart, Queenstown and Tarraleah.

More than 2800 people visited our hydropower stations during our series of open days, and 700 people came 'Back to Waddamana' for our 100th birthday party.

Where it all began

It began with a big dream in the early 1900s – to bring electricity to every Tasmanian farm, business and home.  It was an Australian first.  No other state or territory at the time had a public, statewide energy generating enterprise. 

Generation started at Waddamana Power Station in 1916, and since that time the we have been one of Australia’s leading clean energy business and largest generator of renewable energy. 

Within 20 years, electricity had largely replaced kerosene lamps, candles, and steam engines. 

It took eight decades to create Tasmania’s electricity system with 30 power stations and 54 major dams.

Our history

  • In the beginning

  • The pioneers

  • The post-war boom

  • Green power

  • Reinvention

  • Growing our Tasmanian community

© Hydro-Electric Corporation 2019