In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, TasNetworks is reviewing all work priorities, including those relevant to Marinus Link and the supporting North West Tasmania transmission developments.

TasNetworks provides an essential service: delivering Tasmania’s energy supply. We are taking calm but decisive action to limit the risks posed by COVID-19 and prepare for all scenarios. We are focussed on supporting the continuing good health and safety of our team members and community, and on protecting our key operations. While we do this, we expect that some project timelines will be impacted by delays.

TasNetworks is working through forward plans for Marinus Link and the supporting North West Tasmania transmission developments with our Shareholding Ministers, including COVID-19 considerations. We continue to prepare for future engagement activities, to be ready to activate once the pathway through COVID-19 is clearer.

We are flexible
Due to these circumstances, planning for engagements needs careful review. We appreciate that the current uncertainty presents challenges for people to engage in these processes. We are committed to maximising engagement opportunities, recognising that individual circumstance may vary. To that end, we will work with landowners and other interested parties in a tailored and respectful manner.

When the time is right and with respect to communities, we plan to have:

  • Ongoing discussions with landowners as part of the route selection process and establishing access agreements to conduct surveys.
  • Discussions with Hampshire to Staverton communities regarding any route alternatives, other network assets and infrastructure including proposed switching stations and associated visual impact assessment.
  • An updated schedule of engagement on the remaining North West Tasmania transmission developments.

We’d like to hear from you about how we can engage with you and your community during this time so please get in touch via the contact details below.

Our current focus for engagement:

We are here

Please get in touch via our project email and phone line with any questions about the project, or if you want to find out more on the TasNetworks website.

Email: team@marinuslink.com.au
Phone: 1300 127 777

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It’s no secret that today’s women face barriers, both in and outside of the workplace. While gender diversity and equality have come a long way, women are still under represented in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). At TasNetworks’ Project Marinus, women are carving out their own place on the $3.5 billion project. We chatted to two women working on the interconnector project about role models and stereotypes for International Women’s Day.

Bess Clark – General Manager

The theme for IWD this year is #eachforequal, drawing on the notion that an individual’s small actions can have an impact on our larger society. What are some small things you’re doing to help accelerate gender equality?

Well one of the little things I try do to, particularly over Christmas, is just encourage people to take time off to go and see kids’ school plays and neighbours’ events. It’s part of broader community and life – actually recognising these things are important and makes rich humans. It’s also about blocking out dairies, and spending time with families. I’ve actually had positive feedback that this is something that’s not always done.

The other thing that I’m getting more conscious of at TasNetworks is having female representatives on panels. Having women speaking at conferences and forums ensures we have that visible representation of competent females leading and bringing expertise to the work we do.

“You can go to lots of forums and conferences and it’s all blokes in suits sitting on a stage; so it’s quite nice to see females in suits.”

What advice would you give to a women in a male-dominated industry?

I’ve always worked in male-dominated industries; I come from a farming background – which is traditionally very male-dominated, and now in the energy sector, which is also very male-dominated.

I didn’t necessarily see its impact – it’s just what I’m used to, but looking back, I’ve actually been incredibly supported and coached by male peers and mentors and really benefited from it.

A lot of the blokes I worked with haven’t been afraid to call a spade a spade, however, they’re inherent biases we all have about our gender; some of the biases might make it harder for women, or in fact people looking after families.

“It’s actually about getting comfortable as a society to talk more openly about things that affect people’s lives and how they turn up each day.

“We can be much more honest about how need to work and interact with each other.”

Jane Barrow – Project Management Lead

What do you believe is the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?

Women still tend to bear most of the work at home. It’s encouraging to see more young fathers taking on home responsibilities, but this needs to become the norm. Currently, many women in senior positions either don’t have children, or have a partner that takes on the home responsibilities; flexible working arrangements for both men and women needs to become more normalised.

“Stay true to your own values and goals.”

What are some small things you’re doing to help accelerate gender equality?

I’m providing flexible working arrangements for those who report to me,
encouraging my daughters to be self-sufficient and pursue their own goals, and also influence their partners to be accepting of this. I’m also working to encourage discussion in the workplace about issues that are traditionally seen as women’s issues.

“Women are able to achieve in diverse and non-traditional areas.”

What assumptions about women would you like to change?

  • That we are all the same;

  • That we can’t read maps;

  • That older women are not able to learn new things;

  • That we all have the same issues.

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TasNetworks has extended the closing date for submissions to the Marinus Link Project Assessment Draft Report until 6th April 2020.

This will allow interested parties more time to make a submission. Submissions can be sent to team@marinuslink.com.au

Our Project Assessment Draft Report, together will supporting technical information, can be found here.

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TasNetworks has begun marine surveys in the Bass Strait as an important next step in delivering a ‘shovel ready’ Marinus Link and supporting transmission project. Work will be undertaken in Victorian State Waters and the Waratah Bay Coastal Reserve over the coming weeks.

Marine surveys of the sea bed are part of preliminary works as the proposed Marinus Link and supporting transmission major infrastructure project moves into the ‘Design and Approvals’ stage.

The survey work will help determine the best route for Marinus Link’s undersea cables, and will mainly be using sonar technology to measure the surface and subsurface of the sea bed. This survey work will be carried out in February and March 2020 dependent on weather conditions.

Progressing the ‘Design and Approvals’ stage is made possible thanks to $56 million in funding provided by the Australian Government in an announcement by the Prime Minister in 2019.

The Marinus Link Business Case Assessment Report was released in December 2019 with $20m in funding support from the Australian Government through The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Tasmanian Government through TasNetworks.

The report demonstrated that a 1500 MW Marinus Link is technically feasible and commercially viable and that work should continue to deliver a ‘shovel ready’ Marinus Link to support the National Electricity Market as Australia transitions to a renewable energy future.

Marinus Link is essential infrastructure to strengthen the national electricity grid and unlock Tasmania’s potential as a renewable energy powerhouse and the Battery of the Nation, delivering low-cost reliable and clean energy to customers around Australia.

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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:

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

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

Sydney
Thursday 5 March 2020, 9am-12pm
Tattersalls Club, 181 Elizabeth Street, Sydney
Register online at eventbrite.com.au 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.

ENDS

Media contact 

Rowan Dix (03) 6271 6271 | 0436 919 989
rowan.dix@tasnetworks.com.au

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 team@marinuslink.com.au.

ENDS

Media contact 

Rowan Dix (03) 6271 6271 | 0436 919 989
rowan.dix@tasnetworks.com.au

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From Bess Clark, General Manager Project Marinus – TasNetworks

Today TasNetworks announced details on a proposed new transmission route from Hampshire to Staverton.

“TasNetworks is currently investigating a new electricity transmission corridor between Hampshire and Staverton in North Western Tasmania.

“This proposed transmission line will increase the capacity of North West Tasmania’s transmission network, supporting new renewable energy projects such as wind in the far North West and pumped hydro in the west and central regions and Marinus Link, the proposed 1500 MW second Bass Strait electricity interconnector,” Ms Clark said.

“The proposed transmission route must consider a range of factors and constraints.

“TasNetworks must consider environmental impacts, cultural heritage sites, land-use planning requirements, complex energy system requirements, constructability, total project development costs, and many other factors,” added Ms Clark.

“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,” said Ms Clark.

All relevant landowners have been contacted and engagement is underway with the wider community, through a series of ongoing engagement activities in the North West of Tasmania.

“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,” said Ms Clark.

TasNetworks encourages interested members of the public to register for our upcoming community workshops to learn more about the proposed upgrades and provide feedback.

Community workshops will be held in Gunns Plains and Ulverstone on 30 November, and Burnie and Sheffield on 7 December.

TasNetworks will be releasing the Business Case Assessment for Marinus Link and supporting transmission in early December 2019, and will continue to promote opportunities for stakeholders to provide feedback on the project, and to outline how this feedback will considered.

Further information about Marinus Link and the proposed transmission upgrades in the North West of Tasmania is available on the TasNetworks website: https://www.tasnetworks.com.au/

ENDS

Media contact – Dan Sinkovits 0417 767 124

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TasNetworks is currently investigating a new electricity transmission corridor between Hampshire and Staverton in North West Tasmania.

TasNetworks has begun the process of contacting landowners directly affected by the proposed transmission line.

The intention was to release the proposed route on Friday 22 November 2019, however further discussion with landowners is required. We endeavour to release the proposed route to the broader community, at this stage, by Friday 29 November 2019.

We appreciate your understanding during this process.

More information about TasNetworks’ upcoming engagement events can be found here.

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From Bess Clark, General Manager Project Marinus – TasNetworks

TasNetworks is very pleased to support the CIGRE Substations 2019 conference held at the iconic Wrest Point Casino in Hobart on November 7-8. CIGRE and its members around Australia, New Zealand, and the world, undertake important work in considering the technical and economic aspects of the end to end power system.

The conference gathers together experts in the industry to discuss solutions to address some of the challenges facing the rapidly transforming power system including the influx of variable renewable generation.

Bess Clark, General Manager of Project Marinus at TasNetworks, opened the conference, and spoke about the important relationship TasNetworks has with CIGRE.

Ms Clark demonstrated the evolution of the power system in Tasmania over the decades by looking at the Emu Bay Substation in Burnie, featured in a Advocate News clipping from 1939.

The substation was originally built to service the pulp industry and now serves the Burnie CBD.

Today in front of the art-deco substation building are the huge turbine blades and tower components destined for the Granville Harbour wind farm, a symbol of the energy transformation underway.

Burnie is also the proposed Tasmanian landing site for the 1500 megawatt Marinus Link undersea interconnector. The opening for the Cradle Coast Future Energy Hub last week in Burnie, by the Minister for Energy, supported by TasNetworks, Hydro Tasmania and the Cradle Coast Authority, celebrated the opportunity for the region to build on Tasmania’s strong renewable energy track record.

Speaking to the CIGRE attendees Ms Clark noted, “As the world transforms, we need to consider how we use our collective knowledge, experience, innovation and passion for great outcomes, to drive a future where customers continue to receive safe, reliable and secure electricity at an affordable price”.

“When I think of the challenges we face, I’m always reassured by the skill, competence and ingenuity of the engineering fraternity to devise clever ways to improve things, manage things in new ways, and continue to drive innovation.

“The CIGRE Substations 2019 conference is one more way to share our knowledge, build and consolidate relationships, and help us to create a fantastic future for our customers and for generations to come,” Ms Clark said.

Steve Davy, Hydro Tasmania CEO, also welcomed guests and spoke about the Battery of the Nation initiative.

Mr Davy outlined plans to further develop Tasmania’s extensive hydro power system, to provide dispatchable pumped hydro ‘deep’ storage to meet Australia’s growing need for clean, dispatchable energy.

The key note speaker was Tasmanian Minister for Energy, the Hon. Guy Barnett M.P. who gave a rousing speech demonstrating Tasmania’s potential as a renewable energy powerhouse, with world class wind and hydro resources making it the Battery of the Nation, unlocked by the proposed 1500 MW Marinus Link interconnector.

Minister Barnett highlighted that Tasmania has what the rest of Australia needs: clean, dispatchable, affordable energy.

TasNetworks looks forward to hearing from the speakers and taking part in the discussions as the conference progresses over the coming days.

Media contact – Dan Sinkovits 0417 767 124

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Media release – TasNetworks announces preferred route release for Staverton to Hampshire Hills transmission line

After considering landowner and community feedback, TasNetworks has today announced the preferred route for a proposed…
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Media release – Marinus Link a priority project, according to AEMO’s Integrated System Plan 2020

From Lance Balcombe, TasNetworks CEO TasNetworks has welcomed the release of the Australian Energy Market Operator’s…
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Project Marinus reaches Design and Approvals phase milestone

The team from Project Marinus gathered, both physically and remotely, at the newly-opened Crowne Plaza Hobart…
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