Reimagining the Tarraleah hydropower scheme

Getting the most out of our existing hydropower assets is a key part of the Battery of the Nation initiative. That is because hydropower is the largest source of flexible energy generation and storage in the National Electricity Market (NEM) and it can continue to be the backbone of a stable, reliable future grid.

We’re currently looking at the potential to boost the power capacity, operational flexibility and energy output of one of Tasmania’s oldest hydropower schemes.

With the support of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), we’ve assessed options for reimagining the Tarraleah scheme in the Central Highlands to deliver more renewable power, more flexibly in the future. The technical part of our feasibility study is complete and we are now finalising the preferred asset management strategy to set Tarraleah up for long term success in a future energy market.

In December, the Tasmanian and Australian Governments announced a commitment to identify and refine support mechanisms for the project. A $650 million redevelopment of Tarraleah could increase the scheme’s responsiveness, flexibility and double its generation capacity.

The announcement comes alongside the signing of a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Tasmanian and Australian Governments, marked by a visit from the Prime Minister, Tasmanian Premier and Federal and State Energy Ministers to Trevallyn Power Station.

The MOU outlines a shared path forward for further progressing the new 1500MW interconnector Marinus Link and the pumped hydro and hydropower upgrade opportunities that form the Battery of the Nation.

In March 2021, ARENA and Hydro Tasmania released a knowledge sharing report that presents a framework for making hydropower asset management decisions in a future energy market context, using Tarraleah as a case study. You can access the report here - Repurposing hydropower assets for future market.

About the Tarraleah hydropower scheme

  • The Tarraleah scheme - pictured below – sits at the headwaters of the Derwent hydropower system, and is a very important part of Tasmania’s electricity generation system.
  • It helps regulate water to six other hydropower stations downstream and supplies about 6.5% of Hydro Tasmania’s total annual generation.

Derwent scheme

The existing scheme in more detail

Image: The diagram depicts the main parts of the scheme we’re talking about - the power stations at Tarraleah and Butlers Gorge and the water conveyances that run from Lake King William

Tarraleah FAQ

  • What did the feasibility study look at?

  • What would the benefits be?

  • What is proposed for the existing Tarraleah Power Station?

  • What is proposed for the water conveyances?

  • What is proposed for the current water storages?

  • How long will the study take?

  • What are the impacts of changing the scheme?

  • Can I provide feedback?