HYDRO TASMANIA HAS OPENED its first mini hydro development at Lake Parangana on the Mersey Forth power scheme with a projection of numerous complementary projects in the pipeline. It will be built by Tasmanian firm, Tyco Tamar, with a capacity of 75MW, producing 3.6GWh of electricity per year.

Hydro Tasmania chairman, Peter Rae, described the Parangana scheme as an innovative project that would achieve a sustainable balance between development and the environment.

In 1999, following an internal review and extensive consultation with the local Mersey Forth community, Hydro Tasmania decided to release additional water into the Mersey river to improve the sustainability of the river system. This was at considerable cost.

Parangana is the first in a number of planned mini hydro developments with the next proposed development being at Butlers Gorge on the Derwent river. The Butlers Gorge project will harness water which currently dissipates into the Tarraleah No 2 canal. Hydro Tasmania is expanding its skills in mini hydro development interstate, through a joint venture partnership with South Australia Water that will tap into the Adelaide water supply to generate renewable energy.