Hydro Tasmania identifies 14 sites for new pumped storage

6 June 2018

Up to 4800MW of new pumped storage capacity could be available for development in the Australian state of Tasmania as utility Hydro Tasmania confirms it has identified 14 options as the state’s best opportunities for further investigation.

The 14 sites range from 32MW to 800MW and together their capacity is almost double the 2500MW initially anticipated.

The options, across eight locations, are clustered around Hydro Tasmania’s existing hydro assets:

  • Lake Cethana, Mersey-Forth – five options identified, the smallest 32MW and the largest 600MW
  • Lake Parangana, Mersey-Forth – one option, 300MW
  • Lake Rowallan, Mersey-Forth – one options, 600MW
  • Lake Murchison, West Coast – two options, 84MW and 500MW
  • Lake Margaret, West Coast – two options, 300MW and 800MW
  • Lake Rosebery, West Coast – one option, 400MW
  • Great Lake, Poatina – one option, 600MW
  • Lake Echo, Derwent – one option, 200MW

Hydro Tasmania is now planning on investigating the 14 options in detail, to narrow them down to a smaller number of sites, equivalent to about 2500MW of potential, with the aim of progressing executable projects in the coming months.

Analysis by the utility has also confirmed that Battery of the Nation is an extremely viable and cost-competitive option for supporting Australia’s future energy needs. These outcomes further strengthen the case for more interconnection across Bass Strait, which would also unlock Tasmania’s untapped wind energy potential.

Hydro Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation analysis is built on detailed modelling, and concludes:

  • There’s a unique opportunity to use Tasmania’s existing hydropower system in a more interconnected national power system, to benefit both Tasmania and the national market.
  • Pumped hydro in Tasmania is extremely cost competitive. There’s ample opportunity, and most sites have an estimated cost of between $1.05 million and $1.5 million per megawatt to build.
  • Tasmania has a high-quality and diverse wind resource. It would generate electricity at different times to mainland wind farms, filling a vital gap in the future market.
  • As a whole, Battery of the Nation is cost-competitive against all other realistic options for meeting Australia’s future energy needs, including when the cost of more interconnection is taken into account.

Hydro Tasmania will work closely with TasNetworks, AEMO and other key stakeholders on the next stage of analysis..

Modelling shows Battery of the Nation and other Tasmanian renewable development opportunities would create up to $5 billion of dollars of investment and 3000 jobs in regional Tasmania over 10 to 15 years.

Battery of the Nation was recently nominated for Infrastructure Australia’s Priority List. The Tasmanian and Federal Governments have committed to pursuing the next stage of a business case for more Bass Strait interconnection.


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