Hydro delivers for Tasmania when it’s needed most

15 October 2020

Despite the challenges of COVID-19, Hydro Tasmania has delivered an outstanding operating result for the year, with a strong profit, record results on safety and increased levels of community support, all documented in its 2019-20 Annual Report tabled in Parliament today.

Chairman Grant Every-Burns said Hydro Tasmania’s annual profit of $172 million was 54 per cent above budget, which should provide comfort in a year where everything has changed.

“Good rains throughout the year meant we could increase energy generation to take advantage of good prices in the National Electricty Market, but it takes a lot of hard work to ensure our business is in the right position to capitalise on favourable conditions,” Mr Every-Burns said.

“We are always mindful of Tasmania’s energy security and we have exceeded our storage targets and consistently been well above the required High Reliability Level.

“Tasmanians expect us to look after their interests and during the current economic downturn we recognise there is a need to do more, so we’ve forged ahead with our major projects, brought others forward and accelerated our payment of invoices to get money into the community faster.

“Through two community grant programs and expansions of our existing community partnerships, we have provided an additional $238,000 directly to those who need it the most.

“But through good times and bad, we always consider our people to be our most valuable asset, so a record safety measure of 4.24 Total Recordable Injury Frequency Rate this year is especially pleasing, given the threat of COVID-19.”

Newly appointed CEO Evangelista Albertini echoed the Chairman’s sentiment on the efforts of Hydro Tasmania’s people during COVID-19.

“The fast thinking, innovation and hard work of our people has provided Tasmanians the confidence of knowing this essential service remains reliable,” Mr Albertini said.

“The team responded admirably to the COVID-19 pandemic challenges to put strict controls in place and ensure all our planned maintenance and capital program work could continue. This is not only important for the ongoing reliability of Tasmania’s iconic hydro system, but is also essential for supporting the large number of Tasmanian contractors and businesses that rely on this activity for their sustainability.

“There are significant challenges ahead due to the volatile and competitive nature of the wholesale energy market, and uncertainties as the nation transitions to a clean energy future.

“In this past year, we’ve categorically demonstrated the value that the Battery of the Nation opportunity brings to Tasmania and the important increase in renewable energy production it provides to the rest of the country, which is why we’ve accelerated our investigation of three sites for potential pumped hydro development and continued large scale investment to upgrade and modernise our existing hydro infrastructure.

“We’re confident that our current strategic direction and consistency with the government’s energy policy are the right approach for us to contribute to Tasmania’s economic recovery and I look forward to continuing our good relationship with government.”

Other highlights from the 2019-20 Annual Report include:

  • Ongoing maintenance and modernisation of our generation assets, including $55 million over several years for work at Wilmot, Trevallyn and Catagunya power stations, part of over $100 million invested in the hydro generation system
  • Over 10 per cent growth in customer sites for our mainland retailer Momentum Energy and the opening of new office facilities at Cambridge, which helped to put us well ahead of our commitment to transition 70 jobs to Tasmania
  • Our specialist power and water engineering consultancy, Entura, continues to showcase Tasmanian expertise locally, nationally and internationally, through work on the Cattle Hill Wind Farm, the Agnew Hybrid Renewable Project in remote Western Australia, and renewable energy developments in the Cook Islands, Tonga, Samoa, Nepal and Laos
  • In March 2020, the Flinders Island Renewable Energy Hub recorded over 8,760 hours of renewable generation without diesel, a record result that is equivalent to meeting the energy demand for a full year solely with renewable energy
  • We launched our Disability and Inclusion Action Plan and lodged it with the Australian Human Rights Commission, making our commitments and timelines a matter of public record
  • We successfully negotiated an updated energy supply agreement with Norske Skog for the continued operation of one of Tasmania’s largest employers
  • Young talent at Entura has been recognised, with Professional Land Use Planner Bunfu Yu awarded the ‘2019 Award for Planning Excellence (Tasmania) – Outstanding Student Project’, and Geomatics Consultant Grace Uziallo awarded the ‘Young Spatial Professional of the Year’ from the Pacific Spatial Excellence Awards
  • Our workplace mental health program, A New Mindset, won the Workplace Life Award at the 2019 National Suicide Prevention Australia Conference.

Hydro Tasmania’s 2019-20 Annual Report is available on our website here.

Ends.

Released for Hydro Tasmania by Trent Swindells / 0409 722 359 / media@hydro.com.au.

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