Tarraleah power station
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The Tasmanian State and Federal Governments have announced a new deal to secure the first Marinus Link cable, a move welcomed by Hydro Tasmania.

The State and Federal governments have also committed low cost-financing for the redevelopment of Tarraleah Power Station and the North West Transmission Developments.

Hydro Tasmania Chief Executive Officer Ian Brooksbank said the projects would deliver jobs, energy security and economic growth for the state.

“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,” Mr Brooksbank 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.”

Mr Brooksbank said Tasmania had a head start over mainland states when it came to renewable energy infrastructure, but significant investment was 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,” Mr Brooksbank said.

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

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

A preliminary business case has identified the preferred option for the redevelopment with an early cost 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 maximising the state’s hydro capacity and supporting the national transition to renewable energy is long duration pumped hydro at Lake Cethana.

Mr Brooksbank said these projects, together with Marinus Link 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.”

Assistant Editor, Utility magazine

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