Tasmania charged up for pumped hydro

Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, announced the Federal Government’s continued support for Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation initiative, through its Underwriting New Generation Investments (UNGI) program.

The announcement will accelerate Hydro Tasmania’s work in identifying a pumped hydro project that will be ready to go when a second Bass Strait interconnector comes online.

Hydro Tasmania CEO, Steve Davy, said Tasmania has a unique opportunity to provide 1200 megawatts of flexible and reliable dispatchable renewable energy to support the National Electricity Market (NEM) through a period of change. The merits of this opportunity were set out in Hydro Tasmania’s recent submission to the UNGI process.

“The credibility of that opportunity has been recognised today by the Federal Government’s commitment to develop an underwriting mechanism for Battery of the Nation to do just that,” Mr Davy said.

“Their invitation to continue working with them during the next stage of the UNGI process, coupled with this week’s announcement of funding support for the interconnector studies, gives us confidence to invest in further work on the feasibility of pumped hydro projects in Tasmania.

“We’ve been investigating 14 options for pumped hydro that present the greatest potential.

“We will now invest up to $30 million to refine that to three options for deeper studies, and ultimately identify a single pumped hydro project that can be ready to take advantage of additional interconnection coming online in 2025.”

Hydro Tasmania, with the support of ARENA, will continue to work with TasNetworks, and other state, federal and market stakeholders, to unlock the full potential of Tasmania’s renewable energy and the contribution it can make to ensure a stable, reliable national electricity market in the future.

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