Energy Supply Plan update

20 March 2016

Hydro Tasmania and the State Government have a plan to manage energy supply and that plan is being implemented. Today’s plan update covers the following key points:

  • Work continues on installing up to 200 megawatts of temporary diesel generation, with another priority site announced, at Que River on the West Coast
  • Return of Trent gas unit expedited
  • Total energy in storage at 21 March is 14.6 per cent
  • Hydro Tasmania has acted to limit the environmental impact of the current energy security challenges on its storages, particularly at Great Lake
  • Hydro Tasmania is working with government on measures that may be implemented under Phase Two of the Energy Supply Plan

The Energy Supply Plan outlines how we will be able to meet all Tasmanian energy demand through to the winter rains without Basslink in operation, even in the event of a cool, dry May, and so that we are able to cope with another substantial event, such as the loss of a major power station.

“Our people have been working tirelessly to implement the Energy Supply Plan, and the plan is achieving its objective: to meet all Tasmanian energy demand,” said Hydro Tasmania CEO Steve Davy.

Hydro Tasmania, TasNetworks and others across government continue to progressively build the level of temporary diesel generation across a number of sites.

Installations are continuing at the first tranche of sites at Catagunya Power Station, George Town substation, Port Latta substation, Meadowbank Power Station and at a former mine site at Que River on the West Coast.

“In combination, these sites total in excess of 100MW and all are expected to be operational and generating at the end of this month,” Mr Davy said.

The first 24 MW is generating into the system at Catagunya.

Hydro Tasmania continues to engage with relevant stakeholder groups including councils to keep them up to date as this work unfolds.

Other sites continue to be prepared or investigated to house the balance of temporary diesel generation on its way to the state. It’s expected that 200 MW of temporary diesel generation will be available for operation by the end of April.

The Trent gas unit, which has been in Abu Dhabi for repair under warranty, will return to Tasmania this week, earlier than expected. It is likely to return to service by the end of the first week of April.

“There was some welcome and useful rainfall over the past week, spread fairly evenly across our catchments,” Mr Davy said.

“This rainfall, between 30 and 70 mm, contributed to inflows to our storages and significantly reduced the draw on those storages.”

At 21 March 2016, total energy in storage was 14.6%, down 0.2% from the previous week.

Hydro Tasmania has revised its risk assessment for Great Lake based on scientific advice.

“We are currently only running Poatina Power Station at 60 megawatts, which meets downstream irrigation purposes,” Mr Davy said.

“Hydro Tasmania takes its environmental responsibilities very seriously. We will continue to do all we can to manage the environmental risk in what is a very challenging time for the business and the state."

Great Lake received positive net inflows over the past week which, combined with pumping from Arthurs Lake, allowed the lake to maintain its level over the week. At 21 March, Great Lake is at 11.4%.

Hydro Tasmania has begun planning activities to support Phase Two of the Energy Supply Plan should the outage of Basslink continue past 30 June 2016.

The objective of the Energy Supply Plan would remain essentially unchanged – to maintain supply to the Tasmanian electricity system. Phase Two covers the period through to the winter of 2017.

Hydro Tasmania is investigating longer-term temporary generation options which could be added to the planned 200 MW of diesel generation. As well, continuing to run gas generation at the TVPS is an option. Three dual fuel (diesel/gas) units have been secured to be installed at the old Bell Bay thermal power stations site if required. These units would initially be run on diesel due to longer lead times for gas connection.

One of the key factors guiding decision making on these options is inflows to hydro storages. Winter is the period of highest inflows to storages, and during high inflow periods all available hydro generation will operated to avoid spill.

 

Ends

Released by Samantha Meyer (03) 6230 5746

 

Diesel overview

Catagunya Power Station: 24 MW has been installed and is operating well.
Meadowbank Power Station: 24 MW has been approved by the EPA and is currently being installed.
George Town substation: 21 MW Project proposal is being lodged with the EPA this week and infrastructure is currently being installed.
Port Latta substation: 20 MW Project proposal is being lodged with the EPA this week and infrastructure is currently being installed. 
Que River: Site preparation for the first stage of 18MW is complete and installation of generators will begin soon.
  

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