Study into $1bn Basslink 2 be­gins

The Australian Energy Review - - NEWS - EL­IZ­A­BETH FABRI

PLANS for a sec­ond Basslink in­ter­con­nec­tor be­tween Tas­ma­nia and the Na­tional Elec­tric­ity Mar­ket (NEM) are a step closer. In late Novem­ber, the Aus­tralian Re­new­able En­ergy Agency (ARENA) and Tas­net­works an­nounced $20 mil­lion for a new scop­ing study that will ex­am­ine the pre­ferred route of a sec­ond in­ter­con­nec­tor, its op­ti­mum ca­pac­ity, cost es­ti­mate, and po­ten­tial tim­ing for de­vel­op­ment. Stud­ies of a sec­ond in­ter­con­nec­tor and the pos­si­ble role it could play in de­vel­op­ing Tas­ma­nia’s re­new­able en­ergy re­sources are not new, with the Tas­ma­nian Gov­ern­ment com­mis­sion­ing an ear­lier study in 2010–11. More re­cently, the April 2017 Tam­blyn Re­view and ‘Bat­tery of the Na­tion’ fea­si­bil­ity stud­ies were re­leased, which built on a pre­lim­i­nary re­port from June 2016. “Pre­lim­i­nary find­ings from [the Tam­blyn Re­view] by Hy­dro Tas­ma­nia in­di­cate a sec­ond in­ter­con­nec­tor could al­low Tas­ma­nia to ex­pand its wind and hy­dro ca­pa­bil­i­ties and add more power to the na­tional grid, with a net ben­e­fit of $500 mil­lion,” Fed­eral en­ergy minister Josh Fry­den­berg said. How­ever, in his re­port Dr Tam­blyn also con­cluded that “un­der cur­rently an­tic­i­pated fu­ture en­ergy mar­ket con­di­tions there is a re­main­ing un­cer­tainty as to whether a 2IC would be an eco­nom­i­cally fea­si­ble in­vest­ment”. The scop­ing study comes at a cru­cial time, with en­ergy se­cu­rity be­ing one of the key pil­lars of the coun­try’s new Na­tional En­ergy Guar­an­tee pol­icy. It also fol­lows a break­down of the cur­rent Basslink in­ter­con­nec­tor in De­cem­ber 2015, which saw the un­der­wa­ter ca­ble out of ac­tion for al­most six months. The 400kv DC elec­tric­ity in­ter­con­nec­tor, owned by Kep­pel In­fra­struc­ture Trust (KIT), has been trans­mit­ting power since April 2006, with its 290 km un­der­sea ca­ble com­po­nent the sec­ond long­est of its type in the world. Basslink’s rev­enue in­creased to $41.5 mil­lion in the first half of FY17, from $6.4 mil­lion in the first half of FY16. How­ever, KIT is also con­sid­er­ing op­tions to sell the as­set. In a 24 Novem­ber state­ment KIT con­firmed it was un­der­tak­ing a strate­gic re­view of its in­ter­ests in the Basslink un­der­sea elec­tric­ity and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions in­ter­con­nec­tor.

A map of the Basslink in­ter­con­nec­tor.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.