The Federal and Tasmanian Governments are exploring the possibility of building a second interconnector between Victoria and Tasmania, after the Basslink Interconnector was damaged in early 2016.
Former Member for Bass, Warwick Smith AM, will conduct a feasibility study to determine if a second interconnector would help address Tasmania’s long-term energy security issues.
The study will also provide advice on how best to use and develop Tasmania’s current and prospective large-scale renewable energy resources.
The Basslink Interconnector is the world’s second longest undersea electricity cable, connecting Victoria and Tasmania to enhance energy security.
A fault was detected on the cable in January 2016 and repairs are ongoing.
The second interconnector feasibility study will be supported by the department of the Environment and Industry, Innovation and Science, along with the Tasmanian Government.
The Australian Energy Market Operator and Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) will also be actively involved during the course of the study.
The study will provide options for consideration by the Commonwealth and Tasmanian governments.
The terms of reference of the study are:
- Analyse the extent to which a second interconnector would:
- Address long-term energy security issues
- Facilitate the development of Tasmania’s prospective large-scale renewable energy resources
- Allow the development of dispatchable and balanced renewable energy into the National Electricity Market (NEM)
- Integrate with the Victorian electricity market and the wider NEM
- Investigate how best to use and develop Tasmania’s current and prospective large-scale renewable energy resources, noting the system security benefits provided by Tasmania’s hydroelectricity generation
- Advise on regulatory and financing issues and potential cost impacts on electricity customers.
The study will incorporate work already undertaken by the Tasmanian Government and will be framed within the existing energy market regulatory framework.
A preliminary report will be provided in June 2016. The final report is expected to be completed by the end of 2016, in alignment with the work of the Tasmanian Energy Security Taskforce.