Report: Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation plan viable

Strathgordon Power Station

Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation plan is one of the most achievable and competitive solutions to Australia’s looming energy challenge, according to a new report.

The Future State analysis report, released yesterday by Hydro Tasmania, explored how the state’s hydro system could support further on-island renewables development, such as wind, through augmentation of existing hydro-electric power plants, pumped hydro energy storage development and further interconnection with the broader NEM.

Hydro Tasmania CEO Steve Davy said the report confirmed the Battery of the Nation initiative is a “front-runner” to solve the countries energy crisis.

“Australia is going to need huge-scale renewable development in coming years to fill the gaps left as coal is phased out,” he said.

“Of course, we need more interconnection to succeed. Even with that interconnection cost, the Future State NEM analysis confirms Battery of the Nation is a front-runner that’s extremely competitive and cost-effective.”

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has supported Battery of the Nation with funding of $2.5 million.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said Tasmania’s vast pumped hydro and renewable energy reserves placed it in a great position to increase capacity to the NEM.

“As renewable energy grows to comprise a larger percentage of the nation’s electricity the importance of storage for reliability also increases,” he said.

“The Battery of the Nation has the potential to provide for the future needs of the NEM.

“A new connection between the island state and the mainland could help to harness the power of Tasmania’s wind, and the considerable potential for new pumped hydro energy storage.”

ARENA and Hydro Tasmania this week announced 14 high potential sites for pumped hydro plants around existing reservoirs, representing a combined potential capacity of up to 4800MW.

Overall the estimated capital cost across the potential projects is in the region of $1.1-$2.3 million per MW, with most opportunities less than $1.5 million per MW.

ARENA has also committed $10 million in funding to support TasNetworks in preparing a technical and commercial feasibility study for a second interconnector from Tasmania.