Federal funding for Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation

Rendered satellite image of the Marinus Link connection from Tasmania to Victoria
Image: Marinus Link

The federal government is backing Tasmania’s potential as a renewable energy powerhouse through a significant new Commonwealth investment in the Marinus Link electricity interconnector and Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation project.

Marinus Link will export 1,500MW of fast-start, reliable hydro-electricity from Battery of the Nation and across Tasmania into the other regions of the National Electricity Market (NEM) when it is most needed, delivering an expected $4.6 billion in benefits across the market.

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The government is investing a further $75 million, on top of a previous $66 million already invested, to progress the Marinus Link to a Final Investment Decision and through the next stages of planning, design and approvals.

The government is also providing $65 million to fund upgrade works on the Tarraleah hydro power scheme redevelopment in Tasmania’s Central Highlands, the first of the Battery of the Nation projects.

These projects will deliver reliable increased renewable capacity to the NEM and brings the Commonwealth Government’s total commitment to $206 million.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said ensuring Australians have access to affordable reliable energy is part of our plan for a stronger future, and addressing cost of living pressures.

“Marinus Link and Battery of the Nation are true nation-building projects,” the Prime Minister said.

“This will have enormous benefits for Tasmanians and Victorians, strengthening the economy, creating thousands of jobs, driving down power bills and easing cost of living pressures. More energy in the market means lower prices for everyone.

“Together these game-changing projects will generate thousands of jobs, particularly in regional Tasmania and regional Victoria, and unlock new investment in other renewable energy projects across Tasmania.

“Marinus Link and Battery of the Nation are what a Morrison Government is all about—taking real action to deliver job-creating projects, unlocking economic opportunities, securing our supply of essential services, and ensuring Australians have more money in their pockets to pay for the things they want and need.

Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein said the historic agreement would deliver thousands of jobs for Tasmanians while cementing Tasmania’s renewable energy future.

“This is a significant agreement for a clean energy highway, helping to reduce emissions, deliver reliable and affordable energy for consumers, and strengthen Tasmania’s economy through new jobs and investment.

“Tasmania is already a world-leader in renewable energy. We can already generate 100 per cent of our energy from renewables with a target to double that by 2040. 

“Through Marinus Link, we will take this to the next level, helping to cut at least 140 million tonnes of CO2 emissions by 2050—the equivalent of taking around a million cars off the road. During construction, it will deliver 1400 direct and indirect jobs in Tasmania.

“But most importantly, for Tasmanians and Tasmanian families, it will put downward pressure on electricity prices, helping to ease the cost of living for Tasmanian families into the future.

“I would like to acknowledge the Morrison Government for its support and collaboration in this game-changing infrastructure, that will underpin Tasmania’s continued leadership in renewable energy and the benefits that has for Tasmania.”

Energy and Emissions Reductions Minister Guy Barnett said this was another important step in delivering this nationally significant infrastructure, as well as providing Tasmania with further energy supply and storage capacity.

“Marinus Link is expected to inject billions into the Tasmanian economy, create thousands of jobs, and provide broader renewable energy opportunities,” the Minister said.

“Its construction is expected to create 1,400 new direct and indirect Tasmanian jobs alone, with a further 1,400 in Victoria, unlocking projects such as Battery of the Nation which will enable thousands of jobs and opportunities across the supply chain. 

“Complementary to our green hydrogen plans, this deal will deliver the confidence in our renewable energy future that investors have been looking for, unlocking a further pipeline of projects in Tasmania.”

Related article: Marinus Link: connecting Tasmania’s clean energy future

The Commonwealth and Tasmanian Governments will provide strong oversight of both projects through a Joint Ministerial Governance Committee and a Joint Committee of Senior Officials to monitor delivery milestones. Commonwealth nominees will also join the Marinus Link Pty Ltd Board to reflect our 50 per cent investment and partnership in the project. A Final Investment Decision on the Marinus Link project is anticipated in 2024.

The project, which involves 250km of undersea cable and 90 kilometres of underground cable in Victoria, will deliver around 2,800 jobs at peak construction, and will stimulate investment in hydro and wind generation. Battery of the Nation is expected to deliver a further 1,120 jobs across Tasmania.

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