Lo­cal power sta­tion works

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - NEWS - ALEX LUT­TRELL

HY­DRO Tasmania is half­way through a $275 mil­lion up­grade of its Der­went River sys­tem, with work to three power sta­tions in and around the Cen­tral High­lands com­pleted.

The to­tal up­grade to six power sta­tions in the sys­tem is ex­pected to in­crease elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tion by more than 80 gi­gawatt hours each year by 2021.

Work at the Tun­gati­nah, Mead­ow­bank and most re­cently a $28.5 mil­lion up­grade at Cluny power sta­tions is com­plete.

The work at Cluny, near Lake Mead­ow­bank, in­cluded an up­grade to one of the tur­bines to al­low for 3 per cent more ef­fi­ciency, the elim­i­na­tion of oil spill risk through a new wa­ter-filled tur­bine hub, and the ad­di­tion of a new con­trol sys­tem.

The first of three ma­chines up­grades at Way­ati­nah and Li­apootah power sta­tions have also been com­pleted, with the to­tal value of work so far at $151 mil­lion.

State Lyons MP Guy Bar­nett said fol­low­ing the com­ple­tion of work at the Cluny Power Sta­tion, Hy­dro would then be­gin up­grades to the Re­pulse Power Sta­tion. Work at Re­pulse in­cludes a tur­bine up­grade and re­fur­bish­ment val­ued at $32.1 mil­lion.

Mean­while, Hy­dro is also un­der­tak­ing sep­a­rate works to the Tar­raleah and Gor­don power sta­tions.

There are plans to re­place Tar­raleah, one the state’s oldest sta­tions, with a mod­ern de­sign to po­ten­tially boost pro­duc­tion by up to 200 gi­gawatt hours per year and ex­tend the sta­tion’s op­er­at­ing life by 80 years.

Hy­dro is also in­ves­ti­gat­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of in­stalling an ex­tra smaller tur­bine at Gor­don to boost ef­fi­ciency while re­leas­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal flows into the Gor­don River.

Hy­dro chief ex­ec­u­tive Steve Davy said Tasmania pro­vided about 5 per cent of Aus­tralia’s en­ergy.

“Projects like the Cluny up­grade are about get­ting the most gen­er­a­tion we can out of our ex­ist­ing hy­dropower as­set by boost­ing ef­fi­ciency and reli­a­bil­ity,” he said.

Mean­while, Mr Bar­nett said Hy­dro was iden­ti­fy­ing a shor tl ist of sites for pumped hy­dro that had the po­ten­tial to gen­er­ate up to an ex­tra 2500 megawatts of power, enough to power 500,000 homes right around the na­tion.

Pumped hy­dro refers to reusing wa­ter by pump­ing it back to a sta­tion af­ter ini­tial use.

“Last week, the Aus­tralian Na­tional Uni­ver­sity an­nounced that it had iden­ti­fied over 2000 po­ten­tial pumped hy­dro sites in Tasmania,” he said.

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