Hydro Tasmania to host Battery of the Nation information sessions

Tasmanians are invited to take a closer look at how pumped hydro could help double Tasmania’s clean energy and provide the lowest possible power prices in coming years.

Hydro Tasmania is hosting six community information sessions around the state to share more information about the Battery of the Nation initiative and hear from the community.

The sessions will focus on pumped hydro storage – with Hydro Tasmania recently identifying 14 options as the state’s best pumped hydro opportunities.

Hydro Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation project director Chris Gwynne said social, economic and technical assessments of these options are now starting, and those assessments will help narrow the options further.

“We’re deliberately holding these sessions in areas close to the 14 pumped hydro options,” he said.

“We’re very keen to hear the views of locals, provide more detail about pumped hydro and answer questions from the community.

“Tasmania has huge natural advantages, and doubling our clean energy capacity will help us meet our own power needs, keep prices as low as possible, and support mainland Australia as it transitions off coal power.

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

Early modelling shows Battery of the Nation would create billions of dollars of investment and thousands of jobs in regional Tasmania in 10 to 15 years.

Tasmanian Minister for Energy Guy Barnett said the state government’s Tasmania First energy policy is committed to delivering the lowest electricity prices in the nation for Tasmanian households and businesses by 2022.

“Essential to this commitment is providing efficient, affordable and renewable electricity generation, and the Battery of the Nation pumped hydro developments will further cement Tasmania’s reputation as a leader in clean energy production,” he said.

“To provide the community with more information on this nation-leading initiative, Hydro Tasmania will host community information sessions at key locations around the state.”

The first session will be held on June 25 in Cressy.

“Tasmania is well on the way to achieving 100 per cent self-sufficient renewable generation by 2022, with a number of wind projects currently underway,” Mr Barnett said.

“The Battery of the Nation has the potential to double our hydro energy capacity, create up to 3000 jobs and generate up to $5 billion in investment, cementing Tasmania’s reputation as the renewable energy powerhouse of the nation.”