One step closer to unlocking Tasmania’s renewable energy potential

30 July 2020

The prioritisation of the proposed new 1500MW Marinus Link interconnector in the Australian Energy Market Operator’s 2020 Integrated System Plan (ISP) has been welcomed by Hydro Tasmania as a major step forward.

Hydro Tasmania Chief Executive Officer, Steve Davy, said this was positive news, signalling strong national support for projects that can underpin a resilient future electricity market and providing greater certainty to the industry as it looks to make investment decisions.

“Alongside the Tasmanian Government and TasNetworks, we’ve long been advocating for progressing the solutions the electricity market will need to support its transition to a very different future energy mix. Together, Battery of the Nation and Marinus Link can play a critical role in that transition.

“Marinus Link is key to unlocking Tasmania’s renewable energy potential and we’re excited to see it move a step closer. The timeframes outlined in the 2020 ISP provide greater certainty for us to continue progressing the Battery of the Nation project.

“The first 750 MW cable of Marinus Link will unlock the latent capacity of our hydropower system. This represents hundreds of megawatts of existing, available capacity that can be delivered as soon as that cable lands, to support the market transition.

“The second 750MW cable creates the opportunity for us to develop our first Tasmanian pumped hydro project so we can provide more of the cost competitive deep storage the future market will need.”

Mr Davy said thanks to funding support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), Hydro Tasmania has demonstrated the value of Tasmania’s renewable energy.

“Tasmania can offer access to low cost, reliable firming and storage, which will open up more renewable energy development both here and in Victoria, and that’s great for jobs and investment. Ensuring Tasmanian dispatchable generation capacity is there when the market needs it will also increase competition. This puts downward pressure on wholesale prices and that’s great news for customers,” Mr Davy said.

Battery of the Nation and Marinus Link will be important contributors to the state’s 2040 renewable energy target which ambitiously seeks to double Tasmania’s renewable energy production. They are also recognised in the Draft Tasmanian Renewable Energy Action Plan as engines for the state’s future economic prosperity and the path to Tasmania supplying even more clean, green energy to the nation.

This prioritisation of Marinus Link as an “actionable project with decision rules” builds on the Commonwealth’s recent recognition of Tasmania’s important contribution to its Technology Roadmap and in announcing Marinus Link as a national priority infrastructure project.

“Hydro Tasmania will continue to work with the state and Federal Governments and TasNetworks to create this exciting and prosperous future not just for Tasmania, but for our nation,” Mr Davy said.

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