Hydro Tasmania has reached an important milestone in its upgrade works on the Tarraleah hydropower scheme, initiating work on a new 1km tunnel with drilling and blasting now in progress. This tunnel will link the new intake at Lake King William to a conveyance system that will supply water to the Tarraleah Power Station.

The work is being carried out by the Tasmanian company Hazell Bros Group, in collaboration with Tunnelling Solutions. The project is expected to take approximately 15 months and involve around 260 blasts to remove about 100,000 tonnes of material along the tunnel’s length.

Hazell Bros recently completed the downstream tunnel entrance, enabling the next phase of the upgrade to begin.

These upgrades are part of a long-term scheme that has provided clean energy to Tasmania for 85 years. The project is now being updated to meet the demands of a low-emission energy future.

Tarraleah is a crucial part of Hydro Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation initiative. Since late 2022, work has been ongoing to upgrade the existing scheme and assess its commercial feasibility. Tarraleah is a historic asset with a network of canals and penstocks that transport water to the power station in the Nive Valley.

As demand for clean energy from wind and solar increases, the need for hydropower to fill in gaps also grows. Hydro Tasmania aims to adapt its assets, including Tarraleah, to meet these needs. Supported by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, studies have shown that redeveloping the scheme could enhance its capacity and flexibility to meet future electricity market requirements.