Battery of the Nation supports future power system resilience

10 July 2019

Hydro Tasmania welcomes the release of the Australian Energy Market Operator’s Insights Paper, which confirms the need for further interconnection and pumped hydro energy storage for the future electricity market.

Hydro Tasmania’s Chief Executive Officer, Steve Davy, said the insights paper reaffirms that the future National Electricity Market will need the clean, reliable and affordable energy that Tasmania can provide, and that more interconnection between Tasmania and Victoria can support a resilient future energy market.

Mr Davy highlighted that AEMO’s study outlines that early pre-emptive development of strategic interconnection such as Marinus Link would cost effectively increase the resilience of the power system to coal-fired generation closing earlier than expected.

Mr Davy said that AEMO’s study also outlined that 4.1 gigawatts of storage capacity will need to be installed by 2030 in the scenario outlined.

“Tasmania has what the rest of the country needs – Battery of the Nation represents one of the most reliable and cost-competitive solutions for meeting Australia’s future energy needs,” Mr Davy said.

“Tasmania has significant storage capacity just waiting to be developed and our long duration pumped hydro is one of the most cost-competitive storage options available.

“One of the major advantages of our pumped hydro is that it can be developed in stages, which will ensure ongoing reliability and energy security as the market develops.

“But it’s also important that the market has access to a range of diverse energy resources to reduce future risks. For example, if NSW and Victorian demand is coincidentally very high, Victoria would need dispatchable capacity from other regions to meet its maximum demand reliably, particularly as coal assets retire in NSW and Victoria,” he said.

Battery of the Nation is a key part of the solution needed to support a national energy market in transition, and will deliver multiple benefits to the state – giving Tasmanians the lowest possible power prices, creating much-needed jobs in regional areas and bringing broad economic benefit to Tasmania.

 

Background:

The credibility and value of Tasmanian pumped storage was recognised recently by the Federal Government’s commitment to develop an underwriting mechanism for Battery of the Nation.

Hydro Tasmania is now progressing feasibility work into our three top pumped hydro options which together represent 1.7 gigawatts of potential capacity. These options emerged as the most promising from studies carried out over the last 20 months as part of a $2 million study jointly funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and Hydro Tasmania.

The outcome of this feasibility work will be a preferred project that can be ready to operate when 1200MW of additional Bass Strait interconnection comes online.

Hydro Tasmania has undertaken significant work over the past two years in collaboration with TasNetworks, the State and Federal governments and with the support of ARENA to demonstrate the value of additional Bass Strait interconnection.

More interconnection will unlock the latent capacity in the Tasmanian hydropower system and make it available to support mainland Australia during periods of very high demand. We have hundreds of megawatts that can be utilised if we have more interconnection.

Marinus Link will also unlock more wind development on-island, tapping into our world-class, high capacity wind resources.

 

Ends.

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

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