Taskforce supports a secure future

15 August 2017

Hydro Tasmania welcomes the recommendations of the Tasmanian Energy Security Taskforce as robust and responsible.

The business will work with the Tasmanian Government to implement the recommendations, which also complement plans to make Tasmania the renewable energy Battery of the Nation.

The CEO of Hydro Tasmania, Steve Davy, welcomed the evidence-based approach taken by the Taskforce.

“The Energy Security Taskforce has developed a robust and transparent approach to protecting Tasmania against extreme events,” Mr Davy said.

“Its new management framework is robust enough to ensure security, and flexible enough to respond to changes in supply and demand.

“Hydro Tasmania supports the measures recommended by the Taskforce to help the Government maintain energy security.

“It’s important to strike a balance that delivers ongoing security while being affordable for consumers. That’s been responsibly considered by the Taskforce,” Mr Davy said.

The 2015/16 energy supply challenge was caused by a combination of unprecedented events, including the driest spring on record. Hydro Tasmania’s response was decisive, and ensured homes and businesses did not lose power.

“All challenges present an opportunity to improve. Hydro Tasmania has learned, listened and responded to help give Tasmanians a secure future,” Mr Davy said.

“We’ve rebuilt storages to a secure level, and are rebounding strongly from 2015/16 by restoring profitability and reducing debt.

“Storages are now at about 39 per cent full, which is very secure for this time of year. We comfortably exceeded our target of at least 30 per cent at the end of June, despite a fairly dry autumn, and expect to comfortably exceed our next target of 40 per cent at the start of summer,” Mr Davy said.

The 2015/16 energy supply challenge showed inflows can be much lower than previously experienced, and a Basslink outage can last longer than previously understood. Hydro Tasmania has therefore updated its underlying assumptions.

“While the Energy Security Taskforce was deliberating, Hydro Tasmania has managed storages with extra conservatism, and further enhanced our climate modelling,” Mr Davy said.

“We’ve also worked with the Taskforce to revise planning assumptions. These are reflected in the Taskforce report and recommendations,” he said.

Hydro Tasmania has been working with the Australian and Tasmanian Governments on options to expand Tasmania’s renewable energy capacity - including getting the most out of existing assets, boosting interconnection and integration, and working with the proponents of new generation projects.

“It’s a mark of how confidently Tasmania has recovered from the 2015/16 energy supply challenge that the Australian and Tasmanian governments are now looking to increase the state’s renewable output and make it the Battery of the Nation,” Mr Davy said.

As Australia’s largest generator of renewable energy, Hydro Tasmania has recently:

  • Taken action to limit short-term power price increases for many Tasmanian businesses, by reducing wholesale prices by about 20 per cent.
  • Been working with the Australian and Tasmanian Governments on options to expand Tasmania’s renewable energy capacity and become the Battery of the Nation - including getting the most out of existing assets, boosting interconnection and integration, and working with the proponents of new generation projects.
  • Contributed nation-leading expertise to help address the major challenges confronting the National Energy Market – which include rising gas costs, the closure of existing generators, integrating more variable generation, and reliably delivering energy as Australia transitions to a low-carbon economy.
  • Worked with CSIRO, UTAS and the BoM to better understand the impacts of climate change on hydrological variability in Tasmania.

Ends.
Released for Hydro Tasmania by Cassandra Leigh, 0409 722359 media@hydro.com.au.

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