Investigating Tasmania’s pumped hydro potential

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Coal is retiring, and new sources of renewable energy like wind and solar are cheap and becoming more plentiful. But they are variable so energy storage is needed to help fill the gaps and maintain the reliability and stability of our electricity supply. That’s where Tasmania can help!

Lake Cethana, Lake Rowallan and Tribute pumped hydro opportunities stacked up as the most promising when we assessed them against a range of technical, environmental, financial and social criteria as part of studies carried out over the last 20 months to assess Tasmania’s pumped hydro potential.

These sites were selected from the original list of 14 potential pumped hydro options identified across Tasmania. They represent strong and sustainable development opportunities with the sort of long-term storage options the future national electricity market will need.

We are now progressing our feasibility study, to take a closer look at their potential and decide on the first site that could be developed.

You can learn more about this work in the “Pumped hydro feasibility study” section below.

Community drop-in sessions - you're invited!

We are committed to keeping communities informed about the work we are doing. Drop-in information sessions are being held during August and September with our project team.

This is your chance to come along and learn more about what’s ahead for pumped hydro. We look forward to sharing more information with you, and listening to your thoughts and opinions.

Pumped hydro drop-in sessions

Drop-in session dates and times

Town  Location Date Times
Sheffield Sheffield Town Hall
66 High Street
Wednesday 28 August 5.30pm - 8.00pm 
 Moina Cradle Forest Inn
1422 Cradle Mountain Road
Wednesday 4 September 5.30pm - 6.30pm
Deloraine Deloraine Community House
110-112 Emu Bay Road 
Thursday 5 September  5.30pm - 8.00pm 
 Lorinna  Lorinna Community Hall Friday 6 September  2.00pm - 3.00pm
 Queenstown* West Coast Community Services Hub  Wednesday 18 September 4.30pm-6.30pm

Come at any time for a chat with our team. You can stay as long or as little as you like. Our technical team will be available for discussions and to answer your questions (and to share a cup of tea with you). We'll be serving refreshments during the drop-in sessions. Kids are welcome!

*You can also learn about our sustainability review on the King and Yolande catchments. Come along to hear more about our findings and talk to our team about what matters most to you in this area.

Pumped to announce our three most promising sites

We’re pumped to announce our three most promising pumped hydro sites and to get started on the detailed investigation of these key opportunities.

Work has now begun on a full feasibility assessment of opportunities at Lake Cethana and Lake Rowallan in the North-West and near Tribute Power Station on the West Coast.

This will involve grassroots community engagement, geotechnical investigations and environmental, heritage and social assessments.

Our Board has approved funding for this work to begin, as part of the first tranche of investment of up to $30 million for deeper studies of the three options.

The studies will identify the first pumped hydro project that can be ready to operate when 1200MW of additional Bass Strait interconnection comes online.

Download our Fact Sheets showing more detail on each potential site
Cethana (PDF 1 MB)
Rowallan (PDF 1 MB)
Tribute (PDF 1MB)
Three most promising pumped hydro sites
Mersey-Forth: Lake Cethana 
 Detail Capacity (MW)  Storage (hours)
  •  A new off-river upper storage on the western side of the Lake, linked by underground tunnels to Lake Cethana as the lower storage.
  • An underground pumped hydro power station at the lower end of the water conveyance tunnels.
  • A new transmission line connection from the proposed Cethana switchyard to Sheffield Substation, using existing easements where possible. 
 600  11

 Mersey-Forth: Lake Rowallan  
 Detail Capacity (MW) Storage (hours)
  •  A new off-river upper storage linked by underground tunnels to Lake Rowallan as the lower storage. 
  • A new underground pumped hydro power station at the lower end of the water conveyance tunnels. 
  • A new transmission line connection from the proposed Rowallan switchyard to Sheffield Substation, using existing easements where possible. 
 600  24

 West Coast: Tribute pumped hydro  
 Detail  Capacity (MW)  Storage (hours)
This option uses two existing storages – Lake Plimsoll as the upper storage and Lake Murchison as the lower storage.
  • New underground water conveyance tunnels linking the two existing lakes. No new water storages are required.
  • A new underground pumped hydro power station at the lower end of the water conveyance tunnels and adjacent to the existing underground power station.
  • Upgraded transmission line connection from the proposed Tribute switchyard to Farrell Substation, with an upgraded transmission line connection to Sheffield Substation as required. Existing easements will be used where possible.
 500  31

The studies undertaken during the feasibility stage include:

  • Geological and geotechnical studies
  • Environmental and heritage investigations
  • Stakeholder and community consultation on potential project impacts, benefits and mitigation measures
  • Engineering design and constructability
  • Transmission and connection studies.

Check out the information below on selecting a pumped hydro site, for more information on the process ahead.

Investigating Tasmania's pumped hydro potential

  • Selecting a pumped hydro site

  • Geotechnical investigations

  • Tasmanian pumped hydro pre-feasibility study

  • What is pumped hydro?

  • Why do we need pumped hydro?

  • Do you have questions?

© Hydro-Electric Corporation 2019