Tribute Power Station on Tasmania’s West Coast is being considered as a potential site for the installation of pumped hydro capabilities.

Tribute Power Station is the most recently built large hydropower station in Tasmania, sourcing water from Lake Plimsoll. Installing a new pumped hydro capability, linking Lake Plimsoll and Lake Murchison, has the potential to add 500MW of additional capacity, which would almost double the entire West Coast capacity.

This is one of 14 options that Hydro Tasmania is currently investigating as part of an ARENA-funded pumped hydro study, which could deliver 2500MW of additional capacity overall, with 20 per cent coming from Tribute pumped hydro.

Hydro Tasmania CEO, Steve Davy, said the Tribute option has a storage capacity of 28 hours, which represents the sort of long-term storage options the future energy market will need.

“What we have here is one of the best of the West Coast pumped hydro options,” Mr Davy said.

“Coal is retiring, and as new sources of renewable energy like wind and solar are cheap and becoming more plentiful, we need to maintain energy reliability, stability and security by investing in dispatchable capacity.

“Pumped hydro will form a huge part of that. It represents the next generation of Tasmanian hydropower, and lets us reuse our hydro water again and again to create clean energy.

“This could be an exciting project for the West Coast, not only producing additional energy capacity but also injecting investment and new jobs.

“More interconnection makes all of this viable, allowing Tasmania to get its product to market. Even with that interconnection cost, our analysis confirms Battery of the Nation is a front-runner that’s extremely competitive and cost effective.”

Battery of the Nation is a Tasmanian initiative designed to serve and support communities, and will involve opportunities and contributions from right across the renewable energy sector.

ARENA has committed up to $5 million for Battery of the Nation project studies, with funding to be matched by Hydro Tasmania.

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