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

Pumped hydro potential for Tasmania


These options 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.

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

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. There’ll be regional community information sessions in July to provide more details.

Below is further information about the pumped hydro project. We encourage you to contact us for more information and to ask any further questions.
 

What are the 14 pumped hydro options?

State wide pumped hydro_FINAL

 

The map illustrates the 14 options around the state that will be investigated, 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.

In the Mersey-Forth region, we’re looking at the following pumped hydro options.

Regional maps - Mersey Forth_FINAL
 Mersey-forth: Lake Cethana Options   
 Details Capacity (MW) 
 New upper storage and new link to Lake Cethana (lower)  600
 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

Mersey-Forth: Lake Parangana option     
 Detail Capacity (MW)
 New upper storage and new link to Lake Parangana (lower)                300

 Mersey-Forth: Lake Rowallan option;  
 Detail  Capacity (MW)
 New upper storage and new link to Lake Rowallan (lower)                  600

On the West Coast of Tasmania, we’re looking at the following pumped hydro options.

Regional maps - West Coast_FINAL

West Coast: Lake Murchison options   
 Detail Capacity (MW) 
 New link between Lake Plimsoll (upper) and Lake Murchison (lower)  500
 Convert Tribute Power Station to pumped hydro  84

West Coast: Lake Margaret options   
 Detail   Capacity (MW) 
 New link between Lake Margaret (upper) and Lake Burbury (lower)    800
 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

In the state’s central region, we’re looking at the following pumped hydro options.

Regional maps - Central Region_FINAL
Derwent: yingina / Great Lake option   
 Detail Capacity (MW) 
 New lower storage and new link to yingina / Great Lake (upper)  600

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

Why are these seen as high potential options?

  • These options are seen as high potential for a number of reasons.  This includes their location (they’re near existing hydropower assets and avoid environmentally sensitive areas), geography (located near high, steep hills), estimated costs and their potential energy storage capacity.

What happens next?

  • Hydro Tasmania 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 options and will look at technical, social, planning and environmental aspects.  We’ll also do site inspections to get an ‘on the ground’ look at each site and proposed option.
  • Identifying these high-potential options doesn’t preclude investigating other options in the future. But it lays a platform for pre-feasibility work on those opportunities.
  • There’ll be regional community information sessions in July to provide more details.

How does pumped hydro work?

  • Pumped hydro energy storage systems have an upper and lower reservoir.
  • The water is stored in the upper reservoir, ready to use when electricity is needed. When demand is high and supply is needed, the water can be run through a turbine to the lower reservoir, generating electricity.
  • The water in the lower reservoir gets pumped back uphill when there is excess electricity in the system (which often happens with wind and solar).

Pumped hydro infographic_FINAL

Why do we need 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.
  • Wind and solar are becoming the dominant sources of new energy but they are variable. That’s simply because 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 and ensure energy is reliably available when consumers need it. 
  • Tasmania has natural advantages in developing pumped hydro because we have existing assets and storages, just waiting for the ‘add on’.

What’s in it for Tasmanians?

  • Battery of the Nation is about locking in our island’s energy security and giving Tasmanians the lowest possible power prices.
  • 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.
  • Doubling Tasmania’s clean energy would also create a surplus, beyond the state’s own needs, to support mainland Australia. That’s crucial to replace the coal power that’s being phased out.

Why is more interconnection important?

  • 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.

Are you considering projects in the World Heritage Area? 

  • No, we have excluded the environmentally sensitive Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA) and National Parks from our pumped hydro studies.There will be no pumped hydro sites developed in the TWWHA.

Are you planning to dam any more rivers?

  • No, we are not investigating new on-river dams as part of any potential pumped hydro project.
  • There is potential for development of new small off-river storages to support pumped hydro schemes.

How can I provide feedback?

  • We welcome views from the Tasmanian community and will continue to keep you informed as studies progress.
  • Regional community information sessions will be held in July to share more about the Battery of the Nation initiative and the pumped hydro studies, and give you the opportunity to meet the project team.
  • In the meantime, 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 batteryofthenation@hydro.com.au or call 1300 360 441

 

 

 

 

© Hydro-Electric Corporation 2018