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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From Lance Balcombe – TasNetworks CEO

Today the Cradle Coast Authority (CCA) will open the Cradle Coast Future Energy Hub in the CCA building in Burnie.

“The Cradle Coast Future Energy Hub has been established to foster greater collaboration and information sharing between renewable energy projects and the community.

“Tasmania’s North West and West Coast has enormous potential as a renewable energy generation and storage powerhouse and Burnie is emerging as a hub for this economic progress including as the connection point for Marinus Link. The renewable energy industry will be at the forefront of the region’s future prosperity, and if projects proceed, will bring thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in investment.

“The Energy Hub will provide a central place for information sharing with community members and other regional stakeholders. It will enable the community to ask questions and provide feedback about the opportunities that exist in the North West and West Coast regions of Tasmania,” Mr Balcombe said.

This initiative aligns with The Cradle Coast Regional Futures Plan which provides the blueprint for a new, collaborative approach to regional economic development in North West Tasmania.

The Cradle Coast Future Energy Hub will be a shared space where TasNetworks and renewable energy generation businesses can collaborate to share information with the community and stakeholders, and host community and stakeholder engagement activities.

The space will have a dedicated resource – the Regional Economic Development Officer (Future Energy Hub) – the first point of contact for the community, stakeholders and industry. This role will support the work of project proponents, and the recently established CCA Renewable Energy Working Group. The CCA will recruit locally to fill this role with funding support from TasNetworks.

Media contact Dan Sinkovits 0417 767 124

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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.

https://marinuslink.engagementhq.com

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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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