The Tasmanian Government and Hydro Tasmania have approved temporary measures to ensure the continuation of the state’s energy supply following detection of a fault in the Basslink cable in January 2016.

Tasmanian Minister for Energy, Matthew Groom, said the Tasmanian Government, in conjunction with Hydro Tasmania, has developed an energy supply plan, which includes the installation of diesel generators at several locations across the state.

The Executive Council has approved an extension of regulation seven of the Electricity Supply Industry Regulations 2008 in order to fast track the installation.

Regulation seven contains exemptions from the requirement to obtain development approval for work associated with both powerlines and substations.

Mr Groom said the extension will allow the temporary installation of the diesel generators without planning development approval, as the statutory time periods required for consideration of such an application would not allow Hydro Tasmania to install the diesel generators in the necessary timeframe.

The exemption is approved on the basis that the generators are to be operated on a temporary basis.

The installation of diesel generation is outlined in the energy supply plan as one of the contingencies put in place to secure the state’s energy needs.

The use of the generators is dependent on factors such as when the Basslink will be restored and how much rainfall the state has.

Mr Groom said that while the costs associated with installing the diesel generators is significant, they are a prudent response to a very difficult situation.

Jessica Dickers

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