The Morrison Government is backing the next step to make Tasmania the battery of the nation with $56 million for the proposed second interconnector with the mainland, after the Tasmanian Government released a feasibility study highlighting the business case stacks up.
The report finds the business case for a 1,200MW interconnector will unlock new generation and storage in Tasmania helping lower prices and increase reliability in the National Electricity Market, as well as boosting the Tasmanian and Victorian economies by $1.6 billion and creating 1,400 jobs.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the interconnector would mean more affordable and reliable electricity for homes and businesses and the Government’s $56 million investment would accelerate the delivery of the Marinus Link.
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“After a summer of blackouts, the interconnector will mean more reliable power at lower prices for homes and businesses in Tasmania and on the mainland,” Mr Morrison said.
“Tasmania has the potential to be Australia’s battery to keep the lights on and running costs down and we’ll be there backing them to get there.”
Energy Minister Angus Taylor said approximately 400MW of available dispatchable generation cannot currently be delivered to the mainland, due to constraints on Basslink, the first Tasmania-Victoria interconnector.
“A second interconnector and new dispatchable generation and storage will help alleviate the significant supply and demand pressures we saw across the NEM over summer,” Minister Taylor said.
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The additional funding builds on the $20 million already invested by the Australian and Tasmanian Governments, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and Tas Networks, into the initial feasibility report.
Importantly, new reliable renewable generation and storage unlocked by the second interconnector is expected to deliver up to 25 million tonnes of emissions abatement by 2030.
Hydro Tasmania has welcomed the Government’s announcement, saying it could trigger the unlocking of Tasmania’s full renewable energy potential.