12 Sep 2023

Hydro Tasmania Hails Deal to Finance Tarraleah Hydro Redevelopment

12 Sep 2023  by powerengineeringint   
Hydro Tasmania said it welcomed the recent announcement by the governments of Australia and Tasmania regarding a “new deal” to secure the first Marinus Link cable, as well as provide low-cost financing for redevelopment of the Tarraleah Power Station and North West Transmission developments.

Hydro Tasmania is proposing to redevelop the 90MW Tarraleah Power Station, breathing new life into the 85-year-old scheme. The preferred redevelopment option will generate 30% more energy from the same amount of water and deliver an additional 100MW of peak capacity (190 MW in total).

It will also make the scheme more flexible, able to start generating almost at the flick of a switch. That will be critical in a future energy system with significant wind and solar resources, allowing hydropower to fill the gaps when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing.

The Tarraleah scheme is one of Tasmania’s oldest hydropower schemes. It was commissioned in the 1930s and produces around 630GWh of energy each year (or 6.5%) of Hydro Tasmania’s total production.

A preliminary business case has identified the preferred option for the redevelopment, with an early estimate of around $1.05 billion. Hydro Tasmania is now preparing the full business case with detailed cost estimates. A final investment decision is planned for late 2024.

A second flagship project aimed at maximizing the state’s hydro capacity and supporting the national transition to renewable energy is long-duration pumped hydro at Lake Cethana, according to a release.

The projects will deliver jobs, energy security and economic growth for the state, said Hydro Tasmania CEO Ian Brooksbank. “A century ago, our hydro pioneers set the state up for economic success with a bold vision for homes and industry powered by clean, green energy,” he said. “Marinus Link and redevelopment of Tarraleah will underpin economic growth for another century to come. Today’s announcement is a good outcome for Tasmania and for Tasmanians.”

Brooksbank said Tasmania has a head start over mainland states when it comes to renewable energy infrastructure, but significant investment is needed to meet future demand.

“Electricity consumption in Tasmania is set to almost double over the next 30 years, with our lives and our businesses undergoing rapid electrification. We need new sources of renewable energy, more efficient hydro infrastructure, more flexible capacity, and more transmission if we are to meet the energy needs of a modern, low-carbon economy,” he said.

Brooksbank said these projects, together with the 1,500MW Marinus Link interconnector between Tasmania and mainland Australia and new wind developments, would drive growth in new and existing industries and deliver more jobs for Tasmanians.


“Marinus Link is the linchpin. It will attract the new wind developments needed to meet the future energy needs of Tasmanians and industry, and it will deliver the energy security needed for business confidence,” he said.


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