Pumped hydro potential for Tasmania


Coal is retiring, and new sources of renewable energy like wind and solar are becoming more plentiful. As our energy mix changes, we need to maintain the reliability, stability and security of the electricity system. Energy storage is needed to "fill the gaps" and provide a stable, reliable electricity system.

Pumped hydro will form a huge part of that. It represents the next generation of Tasmanian hydropower, and lets us re-use our hydro water again and again to create clean energy.

Our studies so far have found huge pumped hydro development potential in the state. Lake Cethana, Lake Rowallan and Tribute have emerged as the most promising pumped hydro sites following studies done over the past 20 months looking at the state’s potential.

We've now kicked off our feasibility study, looking in more detail at the potential of each of these sites.

If you’d like to know more about the feasibility study and what to expect over the coming months, please have a look through our FAQs below. You can always contact us on pumpedhydro@hydro.com.au if there’s something else you’d like to know.

Pumped hydro feasibility study FAQ

  • What happens next during the feasibility study?

  • What does the feasibility study involve?

  • How long does the study take?

  • Are you building more transmission lines?

  • What geotechnical work are you doing?

  • Are you considering projects in the World Heritage Area?

  • Are you planning to dam any more rivers?

  • What are the environmental impacts of building a new water storage?

  • What impacts will pumped hydro have on local waterways?

  • What about future access to Lake Cethana and Lake Rowallan?

  • What is the efficiency of pumped hydro?

  • What's in it for Tasmanians by building all of this renewable energy?

  • Why is more interconnection important?

  • What jobs will be created?

What about the remaining pumped hydro options?

State wide pumped hydro_FINAL

We’ve now assessed all 14 options as part of our pre-feasibility studies. The aim was to identify a pipeline of potential future pumped hydro projects that can deliver ~2500MW of capacity and can be developed in stages as the electricity market transitions. 

Our recently completed pre-feasibility study, jointly funded with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), has identified a strong portfolio of cost-competitive future pumped hydro opportunities, with a combined capacity of 3400 MW. That portfolio includes the three most promising sites we’ve already identified.

Opportunity  Area Potential capacity*  Storage duration* 
Lake Cethana Mersey-Forth 600MW 11 hours
Lake Rowallan Mersey-Forth  600MW 24 hours
Tribute West Coast 500MW 31 hours
Margaret-Burbury West Coast  800MW 20 hours
Lake Parangana Mersey-Forth 300MW 8 hours
yingina / Great Lake Poatina / Central Highlands 600MW  31 hours

*Estimates identified through pre-feasibility assessment which are subject to further investigation and assessment through feasibility studies.

Regional maps - Mersey Forth_FINAL
 Mersey-Forth: Lake Cethana Options   
 Detail Capacity (MW) 
 New link between Lake Gairdner (upper) and Lake Cethana (lower)   270
 Convert Cethana Power Station to pumped hydro   100
 Convert Lemonthyme Power Station to pumped hydro  54
 Convert Wilmot Power Station to pumped hydro  32

Regional maps - West Coast_FINAL

West Coast: Lake Murchison options   
Detail Capacity (MW) 
Convert Tribute Power Station to pumped hydro                                   84

West Coast: Lake Margaret options   
Detail   Capacity (MW) 
New upper storage and new link to Lake Margaret (lower)                    300

West Coast: Lake Rosebery option   
Detail Capacity (MW) 
New upper storage and new link to Lake Rosebery (lower)                   400

Regional maps - Central Region_FINAL

Derwent: Lake Echo option   
Detail Capacity (MW) 
New upper storage and new link to Lake Echo (lower)                  200

How 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.

Send your feedback to pumpedhydro@hydro.com.au or call 1300 360 441

© Hydro-Electric Corporation 2019