Federal Government endorsement to accelerate Battery of the Nation

27 February 2019

Hydro Tasmania welcomed Prime Minister Scott Morrison to Cethana Power Station today to announce further support for Battery of the Nation through the Federal Government’s Underwriting New Generation Investments (UNGI) program.

Hydro Tasmania is accelerating work to identify a pumped hydro project that will be ready to go when a second Bass Strait interconnector comes online.

Hydro Tasmania CEO Steve Davy said Tasmania has a unique opportunity to provide 1200 megawatts of flexible, reliable, dispatchable renewable energy to support the NEM through a period of change. The merits of this opportunity were set out in Hydro Tasmania’s recent submission to the UNGI process.

“The credibility of that opportunity has been recognised today by the Federal Government’s commitment to develop an underwriting mechanism for Battery of the Nation to do just that,” he said.

“Their invitation to continue working with them during the next stage of the UNGI process, coupled with this week’s announcement of funding support for the interconnector studies, gives us confidence to invest in further work on the feasibility of pumped hydro projects in Tasmania.

“We’ve been investigating 14 options for pumped hydro that present the greatest potential. We will now invest up to $30 million for deeper studies on three options to ultimately identify a single pumped hydro project that can be ready to take advantage of additional interconnection coming online in 2025.”

The Federal Government this week also announced $56 million in funding to fast track delivery of the ‘Marinus Link’ project, following the release of a feasibility study demonstrating that the business case for a second interconnector stacks up.

The report found a 1200MW interconnector would unlock new generation and storage in Tasmania, helping lower prices and increase reliability in the National Electricity Market.

“The funding announcement for Marinus Link earlier in the week sends a strong signal to renewable energy investors.

“It is a trigger for Hydro Tasmania to start planning for the next stage of our assessment process for repurposing of the hydropower system in Tasmania, including more detailed assessment of pumped hydro options.

“Future national market analysis so far confirms Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation represents one of the most reliable and cost-competitive solutions for meeting Australia’s future energy needs.”

“We have what the nation needs and additional interconnection will make all of this work and get Tasmania’s flexible energy capacity to the national market,” Mr Davy said.

Hydro Tasmania, with the support of ARENA, will continue to work with TasNetworks, and other state, federal and market stakeholders to unlock the full potential of Tasmania’s renewable energy and the contribution it can make to ensure a stable, reliable future national electricity market. 

 

Ends.

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

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