Tasmania on the way to becoming ‘battery of the nation’

Hydro Tasmania
Hydro Tasmania

Engineering work is underway to help make Tasmania the ‘battery of the nation’.

Tasmanian Energy Minister Matthew Groom and Hydro Tasmania CEO Steve Davy today inspected progress on the Cluny Power Station upgrade and refurbishment.

Mr Groom and Mr Davy inspected a turbine runner that’s being upgraded from four to five blades at Hydro Tasmania’s Cambridge engineering workshop.

Once installed at Cluny, the upgraded turbine will boost generation efficiency by about three per cent.

The upgrade will also eliminate the risk of an oil spill by giving the turbine a new water-filled turbine hub (replacing the oil one), and make it more flexible and reliable with a new modern control system.

The Cluny upgrade is part of a major refurbishment of Hydro Tasmania’s Derwent system, which is expected to increase electricity generation by more than 80GWh each year by 2021 – supporting plans to make Tasmania the renewable battery of the nation.

Mr Davy said Tasmania is uniquely placed to help lead Australia through its challenging transition towards cleaner sources of energy.

“We’re well-placed to help make Tasmania the battery of the nation,” Mr Davy said.

“As the nation’s largest generator of renewable energy, Hydro has the skills and experience to help create an energy future that’s clean, reliable and affordable.

“At the moment, about 80 per cent of Australia’s electricity comes from coal-fired plants that will eventually close. Tasmania currently provides about five per cent of Australia’s energy.

“By increasing Tasmania’s interconnection, boosting our hydropower system, and further developing the state’s world-class wind power, we could grow that contribution significantly.

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

“Longer-term, the vision involves big projects like major pumped storage hydro. But early grass-roots hydropower projects like the Cluny upgrade will also play a vital part.”

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is working with Hydro Tasmania to explore new pumped storage hydro opportunities around the state.

Those projects could deliver up to 2500MW of pumped storage generation capacity – which would almost double Hydro Tasmania’s current renewable capacity.