Premier pumped at new power scheme

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - NEWS - NICK CLARK

TWO lo­ca­tions in the Cen­tral High­lands have been iden­ti­fied among 14 “pumped hy­dro” op­por­tu­ni­ties in Tas­ma­nia as the State Govern­ment’s $5 bil­lion Bat­tery of the Na­tion vi­sion charges for­ward.

Premier Will Hodg­man, En- ergy Min­is­ter Guy Bar­nett and fed­eral En­ergy Min­is­ter Josh Fry­den­berg met to dis­cuss the sites last week.

The po­ten­tial of the iden­ti­fied sites in the Cen­tral High­lands and on the West and North-West coasts, is higher than ini­tially an­tic­i­pated. The 14 op­tions are spread across eight lo­ca­tions clus­tered around Hy­dro Tas­ma­nia’s ex­ist­ing as­sets, in­clud­ing one at Great Lake and one at Lake Echo.

Mr Hodg­man said the project was a leap for­ward for jobs, in­vest­ment and en­ergy se­cu­rity in Tas­ma­nia.

“Tas­ma­nia’s pumped hy­dro scheme has the po­ten­tial to be this gen­er­a­tion’s ver­sion of the his­toric hy­dro-elec­tric de­vel­op­ment,” he said.

“Early mod­el­ling shows the con­struc­tion could cre­ate up to $5 bil­lion of in­vest­ment and around 3000 jobs in re­gional Tas­ma­nia over 10 to 15 years.”

Hy­dro Tas­ma­nia will now start in-depth in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the 14 pro­posed op­por­tu­ni­ties to es­tab­lish which could best pro­vide the power.

Pumped hy­dro, com­bined with ex­ten­sive wind farm de­vel­op­ment in the state, is con­tin­gent on a sec­ond Bass Strait in­ter­con­nec­tor, which would cost about $1 bil­lion and take up to seven years to re­alise.

LEAP FOR­WARD: Premier Will Hodg­man is op­ti­mistic.

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