Hydro Tasmania gets nod for Edgar Dam upgrades

Strathgordon hydroelectic dam in south-west Tasmania (hydro tasmania profit)
Strathgordon hydroelectic dam in south-west Tasmania (Image: Shutterstock)

The federal government has given Hydro Tasmania approval to commence upgrades to Edgar Dam, in Tasmania’s south-west.

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The office of Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek this week confirmed the works will not have significant impact on the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA) or other matters of national environmental significance provided that the action is undertaken in the particular manner set out in the decision.

The decision follows consideration of the works under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Hydro Tasmania assets and infrastructure executive general manager Jesse Clark said the decision paved the way for works to commence later this year.

“It’s great to get to this point after several years of design, planning, approvals and community consultation,” Clark said.

“We’ll now conduct a tender process for specialist construction services to deliver the works over two summers.”

Edgar Dam is adjacent to the Lake Edgar Fault Line, which was thought to be inactive at the time of construction. After extensive investigation, experts determined the fault could not be considered inactive.

Upgrade works will include new downstream gravel filters and rock fill will support the existing dam. This will improve seismic resistance of the dam, in the extremely unlikely event of a major earthquake, in line with national guidelines.

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The Edgar Dam sits at the southern end of the Gordon-Pedder Hydro Scheme, which provides critical multi-seasonal storage and 13% of Tasmania’s renewable power.

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