Sta­tion study gets fund­ing

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - NEWS - DAVID BENIUK and PA­TRICK GEE

THE Tar­raleah Power Sta­tion is a step closer to a half-bil­lion dol­lar over­haul af­ter a $5 mil­lion fea­si­bil­ity study into the project was an­nounced by the state and fed­eral govern­ments last week.

Fed­eral En­ergy Min­is­ter Josh Fry­den­berg, state coun­ter­part Guy Bar­nett and Hy­dro Tas­ma­nia an­nounced the fund­ing, say­ing the devel­op­ment could dou­ble the site’s en­ergy and cre­ate hun­dreds of jobs in the Der­went Val­ley dur­ing con­struc­tion.

The Aus­tralian Re­new­able En­ergy Agency and Hy­dro will each con­trib­ute $2.5 mil­lion to the study, which will fol­low an al­ready com­pleted “pre-fea­si­bil­ity study”.

“The power sta­tion is a critical part of the state’s hy­dropower sys­tem and we need to en­sure it meets the fu­ture needs of the elec­tric­ity mar­ket,” Mr Bar­nett said.

Mr Fry­den­berg said the Turn­bull Gov­ern­ment was com­mit­ted to se­cur­ing Tas­ma­nia’s en­ergy sup­ply and fea­si­bil­ity stud­ies helped to in­ves­ti­gate fu­ture devel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“The po­ten­tial re­de­vel­op­ment of the Tar­raleah Power Sta­tion builds on the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of 14 high-po­ten­tial pumped hy­dro en­ergy stor­age sites across Tas­ma­nia, which early mod­el­ling shows, if de­vel­oped, would cre­ate up to $5 bil­lion of in­vest­ment and around 3000 re­gional jobs,” he said.

The pro­posal would more than dou­ble the scheme’s ca­pac­ity from 104 megawatts to 220MW, con­tribut­ing to the over­all boost of 2500MW planned for Tas­ma­nia un­der the Bat­tery of the Na­tion project.

The fea­si­bil­ity study into the re­de­vel­op­ment of the site, which will also con­sider re­plac­ing the sta­tion, is ex­pected to take 18 months with the con­struc­tion phase set to take three years.

The sta­tion would be con­verted from base load to flex- ible op­er­a­tion, boost­ing out­put as it is needed in times of high de­mand. Hun­dreds of en­gi­neer­ing and con­struc­tion jobs in the Der­went Val­ley and South are be­ing promised if the project goes ahead.

Mr Bar­nett said the re­de­vel­op­ment of Tar­raleah fur­ther sup­ported the need for in­creased in­ter­con­nec­tion with the main­land.

“This takes our her­itage hy­dro as­sets and pro­pels them into the next gen­er­a­tion which is in line with the Bat­tery of the Na­tion — pumped hy­dro devel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for our state.”

The Cen­tral High­lands scheme was com­mis­sioned in the 1930s and pro­duces 630 gi­gawatt hours of en­ergy an­nu­ally — 6.5 per cent of Hy­dro’s total pro­duc­tion.

The 14 pumped hy­dro stor­age op­tions, with up to 4800MW of ca­pac­ity, will be nar­rowed down to 2500MW while the case for a sec­ond in­ter­con­nec­tor across Bass Strait con­tin­ues to be pushed.

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