Basslink eases impact of Tasmanian winter

4 September 2006

Hydro Tasmania has recorded the lowest inflows into its lakes for 15 years, with its storages dropping to 31.8% - only slightly higher than the same time last year before Basslink began operating.

The 280km Basslink undersea cable can operate for up to 10 hours at 600MW to meet export peaks. Without it, storages would be even lower this year.

Hydro Tasmania Manager Energy and Market Analysis, Dr Michael Connarty, said Hydro Tasmania has been trading each day in the National Electricity Market using available capacity in key peak periods of the day and importing at off peak times to help replenish the storages.

'The winter rains have not arrived. It has been a very dry winter in most parts of the state. If it wasn't for Basslink, our storages would be in a lot worse shape than they are now,' Dr Connarty said.

'Since it commenced commercial operation at the end of April, Basslink has been doing the job it was designed for. It is assisting in drought-proofing Hydro Tasmania's lakes and reflecting its true value in a National Electricity Market environment.

'Basslink has also increased the efficiency of our hydro system by reducing spill from our smaller lakes at times of heavy rainfall and therefore increasing our energy production.'

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