An opportunity to engage with TasNetworks about the proposed Marinus Link second Bass Strait Victoria – Tasmania electricity interconnector.

TasNetworks has a number of engagement forums scheduled in the coming weeks as part of the public consultation process for the Marinus Link Project Assessment Draft Report (PADR).

The Marinus Link PADR was released in December 2019, and is the next step in the Regulatory Investment Test for Transmission (RIT-T) process to determine whether Marinus Link could be developed as a regulated transmission service.

The engagement forums will provide a summary of the findings and assumptions of the PADR and a project update, including the findings of the Australian Energy Market Operator’s draft 2020 Integrated System Plan, and our next steps for the project.

We also note the Energy Security Board’s work to progress cost allocation methodology for interconnectors.

The PADR and supporting summary document is available from the Marinus Link website here.

The Marinus Link Business Case Assessment, which was released alongside the PADR, and a summary document and fact sheet can be downloaded here.

Anyone interested in learning more about the proposed economic market modelling, and/or making a submission on the Marinus Link and supporting transmission RIT-T Project Assessment Draft Report, is encouraged to attend one of our RIT-T industry engagement forums.

Registration is free and open to all interested parties, but will close 7 days prior to the commencement of each event.

Please feel free to share this invitation with your colleagues.

Forum information:

Monday 24 February 2020, 9am-12pm
Karstens, 123 Queen Street, Melbourne
Register online at by 17 February, 2020

Monday 2 March 2020, 9am-12pm
The Astley Room, Derwent Entertainment Centre, 618 Brooker Hwy, Glenorchy
Register online at by 24 February, 2020

Thursday 5 March 2020, 9am-12pm
Tattersalls Club, 181 Elizabeth Street, Sydney
Register online at by 27 February, 2020

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TasNetworks has explored a number of potential corridors to host a new electricity transmission development between Hampshire and Staverton in North West Tasmania.

The proposed development would increase the capacity of North West Tasmania’s transmission network, supporting new renewable energy projects such as the proposed Robbins Island and Jim’s Plain Renewable Energy Parks and Battery of the Nation.

In identifying transmission corridors, TasNetworks considers environmental impacts, cultural heritage sites, land-use planning requirements, complex energy system requirements, constructability, total project development costs, and many other factors.

Our design seeks to minimise adverse impacts on landowners, businesses and conservation areas, and we have also taken into account tourism, visual amenity, high value agriculture and broader community values.

After talking to landowners, we are now publicly announcing a proposed route within the favourable corridor, which is available below, and can be viewed either section-by-section, or as a whole.

Landowner feedback is critical and will help to further refine or confirm sections of the proposed route. Community input will also be taken into consideration in finalising a proposed route, and will also help to inform design and construction considerations to reduce impacts, where possible.

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TasNetworks is pleased to release its Business Case Assessment and Project Assessment Draft Report. Media releases can be found below.

TasNetworks releases Business Case Assessment for a second Bass Strait electricity interconnector

From Lance Balcombe – TasNetworks CEO

TasNetworks is pleased to release the Business Case Assessment considering Marinus Link, a second Bass Strait electricity interconnection between Victoria and Tasmania.

This is the key deliverable in the $20 million Feasibility and Business Case Assessment, jointly funded by the Tasmanian Government through TasNetworks and the Australian Government through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

“TasNetworks’ analysis shows that Marinus Link and supporting transmission will support Australia’s transition to a low-cost, reliable and clean energy future.

“The investment in Marinus Link and supporting transmission will provide additional dispatchable capacity across Bass Strait to support a transforming National Electricity Market (NEM).

“I’m pleased to announce that the business case is very positive, and shows that a 1500 MW Marinus Link and supporting transmission are technically feasible and commercially viable, providing substantially greater benefits than costs under all scenarios modelled and a commercial rate of return to owners as a regulated service.

“Economic analysis undertaken indicates that in addition to benefits to the energy market, the project delivers significant broader economic contributions from the development, construction, and operation of Marinus Link and supporting transmission, including economic value add forecast to be up to $1.4 billion and 1,400 of jobs in Tasmania and $1.5 billion and 1,400 jobs in Victoria.

“Marinus Link and supporting transmission also unlocks an additional pipeline of investment in renewable energy and long duration energy storage development in Tasmania estimated to be up to $5.7 billion and 2,350 jobs at peak of construction,” Mr Balcombe said.

TasNetworks’ economic analysis for the project has considered the electricity market benefits of Marinus Link and supporting transmission to customers in the NEM, measured under the Regulatory investment test for transmission (RIT-T).

The findings of the RIT-T are presented in the Project Assessment Draft Report (PADR), which has been released today for public consultation.

TasNetworks continues to raise awareness and understanding and promote opportunities for stakeholders to provide feedback comment on Marinus Link and supporting transmission.

This includes engagement undertaken and planned on preliminary route options, environmental and cultural matters, pricing frameworks, economic benefits and costs, and the business case assessment process.

“Marinus Link and supporting transmission would unlock Tasmania’s cost-competitive generation and storage resources.

“Together they are part of the lowest cost solution to provide dispatchable, clean energy to the NEM where and when it’s needed.
“Therefore, we conclude that work should continue to progress Marinus Link and supporting transmission upgrades to a ‘shovel ready’ national infrastructure project, able to be in service from 2027,” Mr Balcombe said.


Media contact 

Rowan Dix (03) 6271 6271 | 0436 919 989

TasNetworks releases Project Assessment Draft Report (PADR) as next step in Marinus Link Regulatory Investment Test – Transmission (RIT-T) process.

From Lance Balcombe – TasNetworks CEO

“TasNetworks is pleased to announce the release of the (Project Marinus) Project Assessment Draft Report (PADR). The report’s release is an important milestone for the project and the next step in the Regulatory Investment Test – Transmission (RIT-T) process for Marinus Link, the proposed second Bass Strait interconnector,” said Mr Balcombe.

The PADR builds on the Project Marinus Project Specification Consultation Report (PSCR) taking into account feedback from submissions received during the consultation period following the PSCR’s release in July 2018.

“Economic analysis undertaken for the RIT-T demonstrates that Marinus Link and supporting transmission will provide an economic advantage to Australia, with benefits significantly outweighing costs in all modelled scenarios.

“A 1500 MW Marinus Link would deliver the most benefits to customers.

“There are a range of optimal timing outcomes depending on the assumptions, and Marinus Link and supporting transmission could be in service from 2027,” Mr Balcombe said.

The RIT-T requires consideration of all ‘credible options’ that would meet the ‘identified need’.

In the PSCR, the identified need was described as:

The characteristics of customer demand, generation, and storage resources vary significantly between Tasmania and the rest of the NEM.

Increased interconnection capacity between Tasmania and the other NEM regions has the potential to realise a net economic benefit by capitalising on this diversity.

The ‘credible options’ are a choice of transmission capacity options for Marinus Link that range from 600 to 1500 megawatts.

“The findings and recommendations of the PADR are that a 1500 MW Marinus Link and supporting transmission upgrades deliver a net market benefit by providing a cheaper supply option for mainland NEM regions.

“The PADR analysis shows that a Marinus Link developed in two 750 MW stages provides optimum electricity market benefits with the first stage including the proposed supporting Tasmanian transmission upgrades to be commissioned in 2028, and the second 750 MW stage commissioned in either 2030 or 2032 depending on market needs,” said Mr Balcombe. 

TasNetworks also continues to work with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) as it prepares its draft and final 2019-20 Integrated System Plan (ISP), which considers future transmission investment needs for the NEM.

TasNetworks looks forward to receiving feedback on the PADR over the coming months as part of the RIT-T consultation process including briefings in Melbourne, Sydney and Hobart in early 2020.

To register for these public events please contact the project team at TasNetworks by emailing


Media contact 

Rowan Dix (03) 6271 6271 | 0436 919 989

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From Lance Balcombe – TasNetworks CEO

Today Hydro Tasmania released new analysis showing how the Battery of the Nation project can help Victoria as it transitions away from fossils fuels, by providing ‘dispatchable’ Tasmanian hydro generation and deep storage to support an affordable, reliable and clean electricity supply for Victorian customers.

The Hydro Tasmania white paper: How Battery of the Nation can contribute to Victoria’s energy needs and objectives, highlights the risks of earlier than expected closure of coal powered generation as a potential catalyst for wholesale power price increases and unreliable supply of electricity to customers throughout the National Electricity Market.

The paper released by Hydro Tasmania today outlines how the Battery of the Nation initiative can also support the renewable energy ambitions of Victoria, by providing essential ‘firming capacity’ for low-cost variable wind and solar generators when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing.

“TasNetworks is finalising the Business Case Assessment into a second Bass Strait interconnector, Marinus Link, which is due in December. Hydro’s findings will be considered as part of TasNetworks’ assessment,” said Mr Balcombe.

“TasNetworks welcomes the latest Hydro Tasmania analysis because it further demonstrates the need for Marinus Link and its supporting transmission as the enabling infrastructure to unlock Tasmania’s dispatchable hydro generation and deep storage potential,” said Mr Balcombe.

“Hydro Tasmania’s white paper highlights the challenges and opportunities we face as Australia transitions to low-cost renewable electricity. The white paper shows that Tasmania can play a significant role in helping our neighbours in Victoria and the NEM more broadly to ensure a secure and reliable supply of electricity,” Mr Balcombe said.

“It’s encouraging to note Hydro’s call for proactive support for interconnection. Without investment in Marinus Link, the contributions that the Battery of the Nation initiative can make to Victoria’s objectives and the broader NEM cannot be realised,” Mr Balcombe said.

“TasNetworks also welcomes the recent Commonwealth Government announcement of a one billion dollar grid reliability fund, which recognizes the critical role of electricity networks in a transforming energy sector,” Mr Balcombe said.

Media contact Dan Sinkovits 0417 767 124

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Online Engagement Hub

October 28th, 2019

We are looking forward to working closely with communities throughout all stages of Marinus Link and North West Tasmania’s transmission upgrades. Our online engagement hub provides an easy way to find out about upcoming events and activities and share your thoughts and ideas on Marinus Link and the North West Transmission upgrades. The 2019 engagement program focuses on new transmission routes that will be proposed for North West Tasmania. This includes a new transmission route that we are investigating between Hampshire and Staverton. Landowners will be contacted in November 2019 to support these investigations, and feedback will then be sought from the wider community in late 2019.  

Share your ideas and provide feedback about Marinus Link and North West Tasmania’s Transmission Upgrades below. Find out about upcoming community pop-ups and workshops, our online survey and project information and updates.

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Media Release – From Lance Balcombe – TasNetworks CEO

“The technical and economic analysis of Marinus Link and supporting transmission shows the benefits of more interconnection between Tasmania and mainland Australia. Marinus Link will unlock Tasmania’s renewable energy and storage resources, helping Australia’s transition to a low emissions future. Recent analysis highlights that Marinus Link could triple Bass Strait transmission capacity.”
TasNetworks, working with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has identified that a 1500 MW capacity Marinus Link is technically feasible. TasNetworks analysis is that this capacity will deliver benefits to the National Electricity Market (NEM) and generate significant economic stimulus in regional Tasmania and Victoria. The findings will be outlined in detail in the Project Marinus Business Case Assessment due this December.
“A 1500 MW Marinus Link represents an increase in capacity of 300 MW from the previous modelled capacity of 1200 MW. The design ensures that this capacity can be supported by both the Tasmanian and Victorian power systems”.
In addition to providing access to Tasmania’s ‘world-class’ wind resources, this increase in interconnector capacity will unlock Tasmania’s cost-competitive storage resources, as identified in Hydro Tasmania’s recently completed pre-feasibility study, jointly funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).
Both AEMO and the Energy Security Board (ESB) recently highlighted the need for investment in critical national transmission infrastructure to be delivered in time to meet key market conditions and support a transforming energy sector.
AEMO’s recent insights paper showed that the Nation needs a portfolio of flexible generation and energy storage options and supporting transmission infrastructure right across the NEM. These options need to be in place in time to meet significant retirement of coal generation, which could be as soon as the mid 2020s.
Project Marinus considers Marinus Link and the supporting transmission. TasNetworks is undertaking the business case assessment, with funding support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), the Tasmanian Government and the Commonwealth Government. As part of this assessment, the Regulated Investment Test – Transmission (RIT-T) for Project Marinus is underway and engagement with government, industry, customers and communities continues.
Media contact Dan Sinkovits 0417 767 124

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TasNetworks has released its Initial Feasibility Report considering a second Bass Strait electricity interconnector, Marinus Link. This is the first milestone of the $20 million dollar Project Marinus, supported by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), investigating further Bass Strait interconnection as part of Australia’s future electricity grid. The release of the report coincides with today’s announcement by the Commonwealth Government of $56 million to fast track the development of Marinus Link.

The current assessment builds on the 2017 report by Dr John Tamblyn, Feasibility of a Tasmanian Second Interconnector – Final Study commissioned by the Tasmania and Commonwealth Governments. Dr Tamblyn recommended that more detailed study be undertaken when one or more preconditions were met, that are now eventuating. Work undertaken by Hydro Tasmania with ARENA funding support highlights Tasmania’s potential to become Australia’s renewable energy battery, and the Australian Energy Market Operator has developed the first Integrated System Plan for the National Electricity Market, with interconnection playing a key role.

“The Tasmanian Government’s “Marinus Link and Battery of the Nation Current Situation Assessment” report sets the strategic context, with Marinus Link being a critical enabling component,” TasNetworks CEO Mr Lance Balcombe says.

“Our Initial Feasibility Report shows that based on the work to date Marinus Link is technically feasible and economically viable under a number of plausible scenarios. Therefore, we should continue to progress the work on Marinus Link, to support a transforming energy market,” Mr Balcombe stated.

Favourable routes have been identified that are feasible and likely to obtain environmental and planning approvals. The favourable routes connect the existing electricity transmission network in the Sheffield or Burnie areas in north-west Tasmania with the transmission network in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley. The link will utilise high voltage direct current (HVDC) cable to cross Bass Strait and modern converter station technology designed to support a transforming power system.

Ms Bess Clark General Manager Project Marinus stated “The National Electricity Market (NEM) is going through unprecedented change, with the retirement of coal-fired generators and increasing penetration of intermittent renewable generation such as wind and solar. This is changing the way electricity is produced, transported and used. The NEM will need an interconnected grid, dispatchable on-demand energy and long duration storage to meet customer energy needs at lowest cost. Our analysis shows that Marinus Link can support these outcomes.”

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said, “The Initial Feasibility Report findings demonstrate how a second interconnector could help unlock Tasmania’s potential as the battery of the nation while also providing grid security and reliable supply to both Tasmania and Victoria.”

Mr Balcombe welcomed the significant funding announcement from the Commonwealth Government today. “It will allow TasNetworks to build project momentum so Marinus Link is in service when it’s needed.  Marinus Link will unlock Tasmania’s world class renewable energy resources, and its construction will provide significant economic stimulus in regional Tasmania and Victoria”.

Download the Fact Sheet, Overview, Initial Feasibility Report and Appendices Below (.pdf):

Initial Feasibility Report Fact Sheet
Initial Feasibility Report Overview
Initial Feasibility Report
Initial Feasibility Report Appendices

For media enquiries, please call Project Marinus Communications Specialist,
Dan Sinkovits on 0417 767 124

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Entura have released their report into further pumped hydro cost modelling. Download the full report here (.pdf)…

“To inform future modelling of Australia’s National Electricity Market (NEM), better information is needed on the cost of pumped hydro energy storage projects (PHES) across the NEM states. TasNetworks engaged Entura to develop a cost model for PHES to inform its market modelling for Project Marinus and with a view to sharing the conclusions of the study with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) for use in future Integrated System Plan (ISP) modelling.
Neither capital costs (CAPEX) nor operations and maintenance costs (OPEX) for PHES in Australia are well understood in the market. This is mainly due to the fact that no PHES have been built in Australia for over 30 years. Around the rest of the world, however, rapid uptake of the technology has continued during that period. As renewable penetration increases and thermal plant retirements continue, interest in PHES in Australia grows. PHES has the potential to play a major role in firming renewables so better understanding of both CAPEX and OPEX are required by electricity market stakeholders.
This study draws on the experience of Entura, who has current data on the costs of developing, implementing and operating hydropower projects around the world as well as exposure to the PHES market in Australia. Entura has drawn on the wealth of experience within Hydro Tasmania to support the estimation of OPEX for PHES.”

From the Report – Map showing Renewable Energy Zones

Download the full report here (.pdf)…

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Project Marinus was established by TasNetworks, with funding support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Tasmanian Government, to complete a detailed Feasibility and Business Case Assessment of a second Bass Strait electricity interconnector.
Watch ARENA’s Battery of the Nation video here. 

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