Investigating Tasmania’s pumped hydro potential

Tasmania has taken another step towards doubling its clean energy and securing the lowest possible power prices, with the identification of 14 potential pumped hydro opportunities around the state.

These options – detailed on the map - would provide significantly more megawatts of reliable cost-effective pumped hydro potential than the 2500 megawatts initially anticipated.

Hydro Tasmania could have executable projects within a matter of months. The first project could start construction as early as 2020, with a 3-4 year construction phase.

This further strengthens the case for more interconnection across Bass Strait, which would also unlock Tasmania’s untapped wind energy potential.

Tasmania has natural advantages when it comes to pumped hydro. We have a substantial hydropower system already in place, ready for pumped hydro to be added-on, which is rare in Australia. The identified options are near existing hydropower assets, a big advantage in terms of practicality, cost and speed of construction.

The analysis has been done with funding support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), as part of its Advancing Renewables program.

Hydro Tasmania has completed a comprehensive report on its assessment of the state’s pumped hydro opportunity.  

State wide pumped hydro_FINAL

Community information sessions

We are committed to keeping communities informed about the work we are doing.

We held community information sessions at locations close to a potential site during July and August, to hear from these communities and share information about the project.

Thank you to everyone who attended and shared their feedback on the pumped hydro project.

What happens next?

We will now investigate the 14 options in detail, to narrow them down to a smaller number of sites, equivalent to about 2500 megawatts of potential. Hydro Tasmania could have executable projects within a matter of months. The first project could start construction as early as 2020, with a 3-4 year construction phase.

These detailed pre-feasibility studies may take up to 12 months across all 14 sites and will look at technical, social, planning and environmental aspects.  We’ll also do site inspections and aerial surveys to get an ‘on the ground’ look at each site and proposed option.

Identifying these options doesn’t preclude investigating other options in future. But it lays a platform for pre-feasibility work on those opportunities over the next 12 months.

Do you have questions?

We’ve put together some frequently asked questions about the pumped hydro assessment.

Can I provide feedback?

We welcome views from the Tasmanian community and will continue to keep you informed as studies progress. 

We welcome your suggestions on the best way to provide project updates or for you to contact us with questions you may have.

Why pumped hydro?

More than 70% of Australia’s power currently comes from coal-fired power stations that are likely to close in the next few decades.

Pumped hydro infographic_FINAL

Wind and solar power are predicted to dominate Australia’s energy future. But these sources are variable, which simply means that the sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow.

That means energy storage will be crucial in the future, to help balance wind and solar energy in the system.

Pumped hydro is a proven technology for storing large-scale clean energy and provides around 96% of total worldwide storage capacity.

Want to find out more? Check out this short video.

Unlocking Tasmania’s clean energy potential

Battery of the Nation is about locking in our island’s energy security and giving Tasmanians the lowest possible power prices. It offers a future that’s clean, reliable and affordable.

Battery of the Nation is not a Hydro Tasmania initiative; it’s a Tasmanian initiative. It’s designed to serve and support our communities, and will involve opportunities and contributions from right across the renewable energy sector.

Our analysis shows Battery of the Nation would create billions of dollars of investment and thousands of jobs in regional Tasmania over 10 to 15 years.

More interconnection makes all of this viable - allowing Tasmania to get its product to market. Even with the cost of developing further interconnection, our analysis confirms Battery of the Nation is a front-runner that’s extremely competitive and cost-effective.
© Hydro-Electric Corporation 2018