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Tasmania pushes for pumped hydro future

Hydro Tasmania has released a series of white papers looking at Australia’s energy market and how to plan for an uncertain future, highlighting the economic benefits of clean energy.

The white papers, which were jointly funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), cover a range of topics, including deep storage, the National Energy Market (NEM), investment, collaboration and capacity building.

Hydro Tasmania CEO Steve Davy said the research confirms the importance of the Battery of the Nation initiative, which seeks to establish Tasmania as a national clean energy hub.

“Our latest analysis shows that Tasmania has the deep storage the future market needs, and we can deliver new energy supply at costs lower than other known market options,” he said.

“Combining our significant hydropower and pumped hydro capacity with low-cost wind and solar gives Tasmania a strong competitive advantage, and Tasmania stands ready to support the energy market transition.

“These projects will make an important contribution to the state’s renewable energy target of producing 200% of current needs by 2040. This objective will see Tasmania double its renewable production.”

Deep storage

Tasmania’s landscape and existing hydropower system provide an ideal opportunity to develop cost-effective, long-duration storage pumped hydro that Australia needs to manage uncertainties and achieve a reliable future NEM, according to Hydro Tasmania. 

“Deep storage can provide cost-competitive, reliable back-up to efficiently support Australia’s energy transformation as wind and solar become more prevalent,” Davy said. 

“And deep storage is more resilient to future market uncertainty, being able to supply energy for days at a time if needed, to ensure the stable and reliable electricity that customers expect.

“The green light for the state’s first pumped hydro development and more interconnection will mean a huge injection of investment and jobs to Tasmania."

Nation leader

Tasmania Minister for Energy Guy Barnett said the work done by Hydro Tasmania will be crucial to reaching Australia’s economic and energy security goals. 

“Tasmania’s renewable energy initiatives including Battery of the Nation and Marinus Link [a proposed undersea electricity connection to link Tasmania and Victoria], will play a lead role in Tasmania and the nation’s economic recovery from COVID-19, driving business investment and creating thousands of local jobs, many in regional areas,” he said.

“We welcome Hydro Tasmania's … white papers that confirm Tasmania has what the rest of the country needs: affordable, reliable and clean energy.”

For more information on Hydro Tasmania’s white papers, click here.