The potential redevelopment of Tarraleah Power Station, which would create hundreds of jobs in Tasmania’s Central Highlands, is gaining momentum thanks to further support from the Turnbull Government.
Following positive results from an initial pre-feasibility study, the Turnbull Government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), is providing up to $2.5 million for a full feasibility study into the redevelopment of Tarraleah.
“Tarraleah currently generates around 634 gigawatt hours per year of largely base load energy, representing six-and-a-half per cent of Hydro Tasmania’s annual generation,” Minister Frydenberg said.
“Redevelopment of the hydroelectric power station would not only further secure Tasmania’s energy supply, but also create regional jobs.”
The pre-feasibility study found redeveloping Tarraleah to optimise its capacity would be the most viable option to support demand on an energy market that has a variable level of renewable energy. It would allow the hydroelectric power station to provide a broader range of market services.
The $5 million full feasibility study will assess the viability to expand Tarraleah from 104 megawatts to 220 megawatt. If developed, the project would create hundreds of jobs across the Derwent Valley and Tasmania.
“The Turnbull Government is committed to securing Tasmania’s energy supply and these feasibility studies help us investigate future development opportunities,” Minister Frydenberg said.
“The potential redevelopment of the Tarraleah Power Station builds on the identification of 14 high potential pumped hydro energy storage sites across Tasmania, which early modelling shows, if developed, would create up to $5 billion of investment and around 3000 regional jobs.”
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) announced up to $2.5 million in funding to Hydro Tasmania to complete final feasibility analysis into the proposed redevelopment of the Tarraleah hydropower scheme in the highlands of Tasmania. The feasibility analysis is expected to cost $5.0 million in total.
If the project is found to be technically and economically feasible, the redevelopment would more than double the scheme’s capacity from 104 megawatts (MW) to 220 MW with 20 hours of storage in one cycle.
The Tarraleah scheme currently generates around 634 GWh per year of largely base load energy, providing around 6.5% of Hydro Tasmania’s annual power generation.
This next stage of work follows on from a pre-feasibility study completed earlier this year which identified and assessed options for the future of the Tarraleah scheme.
The pre-feasibility study, funded by ARENA’s initial commitment to the Battery of the Nation initiative, found that an option to expand the capacity of the Tarraleah scheme and increase its flexibility was potentially feasible. The study concluded that capacity-optimised redevelopment would provide an asset that is best placed to support a future electricity market with higher levels of variable renewable generation.
ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said the reports into assessing options for Tasmania’s hydro assets aligned with the work being completed under the broader ‘Battery of the Nation’ initiative.
“The report helps our understanding of future development opportunities in Tasmania and how they could make a larger contribution to the National Electricity Market (NEM).”
“This full scale feasibility of the Tarraleah scheme will enable Hydro Tasmania to determine the best options in terms of cost, market value and system flexibility. Tarraleah can play an integral part in Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation initiative, setting up a blueprint for increasing the state’s renewable resources to support the future NEM.” Mr Frischknecht said.
The CEO of Hydro Tasmania, Steve Davy, said while pumped hydro and wind power attract most of the attention, getting more electricity from existing hydropower assets would also be crucial.
“We can start by finding another 116 MW from Tarraleah. This upgrade will also transform Tarraleah into Tasmania’s first truly 21st century hydropower station – adding stability and flexibility to Australia’s future clean energy market.”