After considering landowner and community feedback, TasNetworks has today announced the preferred route for a proposed new transmission line from Staverton to Hampshire Hills in North West Tasmania.

The preferred route seeks to balance a range of objectives and reduce impacts, on landowners, local communities, and the environment.

TasNetworks CEO Lance Balcombe said the company has listened to the concerns of landowners, businesses and the community and has made variations to the initial proposed route for the proposed new Staverton to Hampshire Hills transmission line development.

“The preferred route now traverses more kilometres of commercial forestry land than the initial proposed route that TasNetworks consulted on in late 2019 and early 2020.

“This means less impact on directly affected small private landowners with the overwhelming proportion of the preferred route passing through commercial forestry estates and Crown Land,” Mr Balcombe said.

Mr Balcombe said the proposed new transmission development, which would be part of TasNetworks’ shared network in the future, is required in order to unlock Tasmania’s abundant renewable energy and storage resources, and provide further electricity and telecommunications connection with mainland Australia.

“The development would also be part of supporting the significant jobs, skills and investment opportunity in Tasmania from the development of Marinus Link, the Battery of the Nation pumped hydro and the state’s world class wind resources.

“Together these renewable energy projects will create thousands of jobs, many of which will be in North West Tasmania,” Mr Balcombe said.

TasNetworks recently welcomed the release of the Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) 2020 Integrated System Plan (ISP), which confirms Marinus Link and the supporting transmission developments in North West Tasmania as critical to support a rapidly transforming National Electricity Market (NEM).

This work on the Staverton to Hampshire Hills route forms part of the critical early works required to progress the proposed North West Tasmania transmission developments, which are needed to support Marinus Link and the implementation of TasNetworks’ strategic transmission plan for North West Tasmania.

“These projects will deliver low-cost, reliable and clean energy for Tasmania and the broader National Electricity Market, as part of Australia’s energy transition.

“We are listening to community and landowner feedback and remain committed to communicating in a transparent, respectful, and timely manner in context of COVID-19, and to working with the community to realise the benefits this project can bring,” Mr Balcombe said.

The final route and location of supporting infrastructure will be further defined as the design and approvals process progresses, and is considered for approval under relevant Commonwealth and State environmental, land use planning and cultural heritage assessment frameworks.

The Tasmanian Government received $56 million from the Australian Government to progress with this work, with TasNetworks leading the delivery of Project Marinus.

More information on Marinus Link and the North West Transmission Developments can be found here.

ENDS

Media contact
Dan Sinkovits| 0417 767 124

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From Lance Balcombe, TasNetworks CEO

TasNetworks has welcomed the release of the Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) 2020 Integrated System Plan (ISP), which confirms Marinus Link as a critical project to support a rapidly transforming National Electricity Market (NEM).

The 2020 ISP identifies investments needed for the NEM up to the year 2040.

These investments include strategically placed interconnectors, such as Marinus Link.

TasNetworks’ CEO, Lance Balcombe welcomed AEMO’s announcement.

“AEMO’s report reinforces our analysis that Marinus Link delivers benefits to customers across the NEM: supporting the energy market transition by accessing necessary large-scale and deep storage in Tasmania to increase network reliability; allowing more efficient generation sharing between Tasmania and Victoria; unlocking Tasmania’s world-class wind resources; and reducing overall generation costs,” Mr Balcombe said.

“The project will also unlock significant jobs and investment opportunity in Tasmania and Victoria, particularly in regional areas,” Mr Balcombe said.

In Tasmania, Marinus Link enables the Battery of the Nation initiative, further development of the State’s world-class wind resources and the proposed Tasmanian Renewable Energy Target.

In Victoria, the project supports significant investment and jobs, and enables clean, dispatchable ‘on demand’ energy to support Victoria’s renewable energy transition.

The 2020 ISP calls for work on Marinus Link to continue, so that the project can be ‘shovel ready’ by 2023-24, and able to be in service from the late 2020’s. The detailed timing will continue to be monitored ahead of any investment decision. Work will also continue to ensure a fair pricing outcome for electricity customers.

“The 2020 ISP is very positive, showing Marinus Link is a key and necessary part of the future grid. The ISP indicates that Marinus Link will deliver low cost, reliable and clean energy, and help balance the system as new renewable energy and storage projects come online,” Mr Balcombe said.

TasNetworks’ owners, the Tasmanian Government, has received $56 million in funding from the Australian Government to progress Marinus Link into the Design and Approvals phase, supporting the progression of early works for both 750 megawatt stages of the 1500 megawatt interconnector.

ENDS

The Marinus Link Business Case Assessment and RIT-T Project Assessment Draft Report are available to download from this website.

Media contact
Dan Sinkovits| 0417 767 124

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The team from Project Marinus gathered, both physically and remotely, at the newly-opened Crowne Plaza Hobart this morning (1 July) to mark a major milestone in the Project’s life – as the project now moves into the Design and Approvals phase.

The Design and Approvals phase undertakes the various activities required to achieve an investment decision for Marinus Link and the supporting Tasmanian transmission development. The project is targeting an investment decision in the mid 2020s so the link can commence service from the late 2020s.

The celebration recognised and thanked everyone who worked directly or indirectly to enable the project to meet this important milestone.

Already, there has been significant dedication and hard work put into Project Marinus, to get the project to where it is today.  2019 and 2020 threw up many challenges for the project to navigate – across political, energy market and natural environment spectrums, and of course the challenges of COVID-19. 

Despite these challenges, in the last 12 months the Project Marinus team has achieved much.  As we start the Design and Approval phase, we are in good shape:

  • Our shareholder Ministers have confirmed that Project Marinus is a high priority for Tasmania, setting a target of doubling the State’s renewable energy production, backed by Marinus Link;
  • AEMO has recognised the need to progress Marinus Link to be shovel ready; and
  • The Prime Minister has announced that the Commonwealth will fast track the Marinus environmental approvals process, with the project recognised as priority infrastructure to support Australia’s COVID-19 recovery.

This is a great achievement for the team, the business and our shareholders. 

Project Marinus is a once in a generation opportunity for our state and a critical project for Australia’s energy future. It will support the prosperity of regional economies in Tasmania and Victoria, and a clean, reliable and affordable energy sector for Australia.

We’re looking forward to working together to achieve a successful Design and Approvals phase.

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TasNetworks welcomes the announcement by the Australian Government to streamline the approvals process for Marinus Link, as part of a plan to drive economic recovery and stimulate jobs in the wake of COVID-19.

Project Marinus General Manager Bess Clark welcomed the inclusion of Marinus Link in the announcement made by the Prime Minister.

“We see the Project as being a key catalyst for jobs, and training opportunities as well as economic investment, particularly in regional Tasmania and Victoria”, Ms Clark said.

“It’s wonderful to see Marinus Link listed alongside other critical major infrastructure projects that will bring benefits to the Nation, including jobs and economic stimulus at a time when we are all feeling the impact of COVID-19.”

TasNetworks is working closely with its owners, the Tasmanian Government, to progress renewable energy sector jobs and training opportunities, and the significant broader economic investment from the construction of Marinus Link and supporting transmission in Tasmania and Victoria.

Marinus Link will unlock further investment opportunities in Tasmania, including Hydro Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation initiative and other renewable projects, such as wind and solar farms.

“Tasmania has tremendous wind and hydro resources, as well as the potential for pumped hydro storage and hydrogen production. The full potential can only be unlocked by building Marinus Link.” TasNetworks CEO, Lance Balcombe said.

“Together these renewable energy projects will create thousands of jobs, many of which will be in North West Tasmania and regional Victoria.”

“Marinus Link also supports Australia’s transition of the energy system and provides benefits to the entire National Electricity Market by enabling delivery of low-cost, reliable and clean energy.”

Tasmania has received $56 million in federal funding to progress Marinus Link into the Design and Approvals stage, which aims to deliver a ‘shovel ready’ Marinus Link by the mid-2020s.

“We look forward to working with our State and Government authorities, industry, business and the community as we progress important environmental and planning approvals processes,” Mr Balcombe said.

ENDS

Media contact

Dan Sinkovits | 0417 767 124
daniel.sinkovits@tasnetworks.com.au

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TasNetworks is continuing to progress the proposed North West Tasmania transmission developments. As part of this we are undertaking aerial inspections to conduct additional eagle nest surveys in the vicinity of the proposed developments.Eagle nest surveys form a vital part of the environmental impact assessment for the North West Tasmania Transmission developments.In the week commencing 25 May 2020.

TasNetworks will undertake additional eagle nest surveys, involving an aerial inspection in the vicinity of:
Heybridge, Chasm Creek, Stowport, the Deloraine area, East Cam, West Mooreville, West Ridgley, Ridgley, Highclere and Hampshire. These are in addition to surveys carried out between 11 – 15 May.

Eagle nest surveys help to confirm existing Natural Values Atlas (NVA) nest location records and to identify any new nests within proximity of the easement.

Findings from the surveyed area will be used in route selection and design, in addition to planning for construction activities, to help mitigate impacts on eagles should the proposed North West Tasmania Transmission developments required to support Marinus Link proceed.

TasNetworks has engaged local ecologists and helicopter service providers to undertake the aerial inspection, who have expertise in undertaking natural values assessments, including eagle nest surveys. 

This survey work provides a welcome opportunity for TasNetworks to support local providers and businesses, and to engage with local communities in North West Tasmania during this challenging time of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

It forms part of the critical early works needed to progress the proposed North West Tasmania transmission developments required to support Marinus Link and the implementation of TasNetworks’ North West Tasmania Strategic Transmission Plan. TasNetworks has received $56 million in federal funding to progress with this work.

These developments are part of supporting the significant jobs and investment opportunity in Tasmania from Marinus Link, the Battery of the Nation and the state’s world class wind resources.

Read more about the North West Tasmania transmission developments here.

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TasNetworks has welcomed the draft Tasmanian Renewable Energy Action Plan (TREAP), released today by The Hon. Guy Barnett Minister for Energy.

The 20 year plan, which includes TasNetworks’ proposed second Bass Strait interconnector, Marinus Link, plots a clear path to ensure Tasmania can fully realise its potential to become the Battery of the Nation.

Underpinning the plan, is the target to double our state’s renewable generation capacity, with a target of 200 per cent renewable capacity by 2040.

“The Tasmanian Renewable Energy Action Plan is a clear signal of Tasmania’s ambition to be a renewable energy powerhouse – which will drive jobs and economic stimulus in Tasmania for generations to come,” TasNetworks’ CEO Lance Balcombe said.

“TasNetworks will continue to work with its owners, the Tasmanian Government, and all renewable energy proponents to ensure that Marinus Link is ready to deliver the low-cost, reliable and clean energy and storage that the National Electricity Market needs as it transitions to a renewable energy future.”

Mr Balcombe said Marinus Link, and the supporting transmission developments in Tasmania, provide benefits such as unlocking the State’s abundant renewable energy generation and deep storage potential.

“Marinus Link unlocks a pipeline of investment in renewable energy and long-duration energy storage with an estimated value of up to $5.7 billion and 2,350 jobs,” he said.

Marinus Link has progressed into the ‘Design and Approvals’ phase, thanks to $56 million in funding provided by the Australian Government, with an aim to be ‘shovel ready’ by the mid-2020s – an objective supported in the draft 2020 Integrated System Plan prepared by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).

ENDS

Media contact

Dan Sinkovits | 0417 767 124
daniel.sinkovits@tasnetworks.com.au

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TasNetworks is continuing to progress the proposed North West Tasmania transmission developments, with work currently focused on the Hampshire to Staverton section.

Eagle nest surveys form a vital part of the environmental impact assessment for the North West Tasmania Transmission developments, and in the week commencing 11 May 2020, TasNetworks will undertake eagle nest surveys in the vicinity of the potential Hampshire to Staverton route.

Eagle nest surveys help to confirm existing Natural Values Atlas (NVA) nest location records and to identify any new nests within proximity of the easement.

Findings from the surveyed area will be used in route selection and design, in addition to planning for construction activities, should the proposed North West Tasmania Transmission development required to support Marinus Link proceed.

TasNetworks has engaged local ecologists and helicopter service providers to undertake the aerial inspection, who have expertise in undertaking natural values assessments, including eagle nest surveys.

This survey work provides a welcome opportunity for TasNetworks to support local providers and businesses, and to engage with local communities in North West Tasmania during this challenging time of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

It forms part of the critical early works required to progress the proposed North West Tasmania transmission developments required to support Marinus Link and the implementation of TasNetworks’ North West Tasmania Strategic Transmission Plan. TasNetworks has received $56 million in federal funding to progress with this work.

These developments are part of supporting the significant jobs and investment opportunity in Tasmania from Marinus Link, the Battery of the Nation and the state’s world class wind resources.

Read more about the North West Tasmania transmission developments here.

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TasNetworks has received feedback on the PADR as part of the RIT-T consultation process.

A total of 14 submissions were received, of which 2 were confidential. 

Non-confidential stakeholder submissions are provided below. Responses to this consultation will be summarised in the next stage of Marinus Link investigation.

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The National Electricity Market (NEM) is experiencing unprecedented change as ageing baseload fossil-fuel generators continue to retire.  Increasingly energy is supplied by low cost, but variable, renewable wind and solar generation, that needs to be backed by dispatchable and flexible ‘on-demand’ firming capacity to fill the supply gaps when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing. Increased energy efficiency, together with large and small scale batteries, are also expected to play an increasing role in Australia’s future energy market.

By 2035, at least 12,000 MW of coal generation is expected to reach its end-of-life and retire. Modelling shows that to replace it, the NEM will need at least 40,000 MW of variable renewables, such as wind and solar generation, and 8,000 MW of ‘firming’ dispatchable generation and storage (in addition to the 2,000 MW coming from Snowy 2.0), such as hydroelectric and gas generation, to meet customer requirements.

The Regulatory Investment Test for Transmission (RIT-T) is a cost benefit analysis overseen by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER). It assesses the economic and technical impact of, and preferred timing for, all major network investments in the national energy market (NEM). The RIT-T process.

ensures regulated transmission investment decisions are in the long term interests of customers.

TasNetworks published its Project Assessment Draft Report (PADR) as part of the RIT-T process in December 2019. The PADR follows on from the Project Specification Draft Report (PSCR) released in July 2018, which described the identified need for Marinus Link.

TasNetworks’ PADR analysis concludes that that Marinus Link and supporting transmission provide substantially greater benefits than costs under all TasNetworks scenarios modelled. The PADR analysis shows that the optimal interconnection capacity is 1500 MW, built in two separate 750 MW links. The optimal timing for the two stages is 2028 and 2032.

The first 750 MW of Marinus Link provides the opportunity to access available and repurposed hydro capacity in the existing Tasmanian hydro system. The prospect of utilising existing Tasmanian hydro capacity allows the NEM to defer the need for investment in more expensive and higher risk new generation alternatives like pumped hydro and gas powered generators.

The first stage of Marinus Link also accompanies up to 900 MW of additional wind development in Tasmania, depending upon the RIT-T scenario. The second 750 MW of Marinus Link sees further wind development and complements the development of cost effective and long duration pumped hydro energy storage (PHES) in Tasmania.

In addition to low emission dispatchable hydro and pumped hydro energy, Tasmania has some of the best land-based wind resources in the country. This results in higher capacity factors (ie higher average energy output), which means that the cost of generating a unit of energy could be up to 25% lower in Tasmania as compared to elsewhere in Australia. Marinus Link unlocks this wind generation potential and enables delivery of higher value generation to the broader National Electricity Market. A 1500 MW Marinus Link unlocks the potential for up to 3,000 MW of additional wind development in Tasmania.

In summary, Marinus Link assists in unlocking high value Tasmanian renewable energy resources, assisting to address the energy trilemma: delivering low-cost, reliable and clean energy to customers around Australia.

The Marinus RIT-T PADR Industry Forums were held in three locations; Hobart, Melbourne and Sydney. These locations were chosen to reach many key industry stakeholders in the NEM regions, including in Victoria and New South Wales, where customers are expected to see significant energy market benefits from Marinus Link. Attendance was encouraging with close to 150 highly engaged attendees across the three forums.

Andrew Turley, Manager Integrated Energy Systems at AEMO attended each forum to provide an update on the Integrated System Plan (ISP). Andrew highlighted that the draft ISP released in late 2019 proposed progress of a ‘shovel ready’ Marinus Link project, so that the link can be in service when the NEM needs it.

Some of the questions asked by attendees were:

  • How will the 2020 ISP, due for release in mid-2020 be taken into account in the RIT-T analysis?
  • What are the trigger events that could see Marinus timing come forward?
  • How does the recent Tasmanian Renewable Energy Target (TRET) of 200% renewables by 2040, affect the need for Marinus?
  • Who will pay for Marinus Link?  Who will own and or invest in it?  Which customers will pay for its services?
  • Is there sufficient existing and new generation capacity planned in Tasmania to fully utilise the proposed 1500 MW increase in interconnection, above and beyond the existing 500 MW Basslink interconnector currently provides?
  • What are the advantages of staging the link’s development?  What does developing a 1500 MW Marinus link in stages mean in terms of the type of generation that is unlocked?

In the interests of increased modelling transparency and ‘crowdsourcing’ of modelling insights, TasNetworks made hourly modelling outcomes for the Marinus Link RIT-T options available upon request. The hourly data package details generation by each technology type on a regional basis, together with interconnector flows and forecast demand. For those who are interested in accessing this data, please contact us at team@marinuslink.com.au.

TasNetworks has received submissions on the PADR as part of the RIT-T consultation process.  Non-confidential submissions will be loaded on the TasNetworks website. All submissions will be taken into account as TasNetworks continues the RIT-T analysis.

TasNetworks proposes to undertake further modelling once the Final 2020 ISP has been released, and before finalising the RIT-T assessment. This further modelling will also be provided for consultation, and is discussed further below.

AEMO’s draft ISP, which considers future transmission investment needs for the NEM, included a range of scenarios and possible in-service dates for Marinus Link and other interconnectors.  TasNetworks’ RIT-T PADR analysis was based on earlier assumptions published by AEMO, and some different modelling considerations, and these lead to some differences in modelling outcomes between the PADR and the draft ISP. TasNetworks continues to work with AEMO as it finalises the Final 2020 ISP.

As shared with stakeholders at the Marinus Link PADR industry forums, TasNetworks is planning to publish a supplementary market modelling report after the Final 2020 ISP is released. The modelling in this report will aim to incorporate final set of inputs and assumptions used in the Final 2020 ISP.

This supplementary report will also consider impacts of the recently announced Tasmanian Renewable Energy Target (TRET), doubling Tasmanian renewable generation by 2040.

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23 April 2020
From Lance Balcombe – TasNetworks CEO

Tasmania can become the Battery of the Nation by providing cost-competitive deep storage, according to new white paper analysis released this week by Hydro Tasmania.

The new report supports the findings of TasNetworks’ Marinus Link Business Case, released last year, which demonstrated Marinus Link and the supporting transmission developments in Tasmania provide benefits: unlocking Tasmania’s abundant renewable energy generation and deep storage potential.

In response to the Hydro Tasmania white paper, TasNetworks CEO Lance Balcombe said Marinus Link and Battery of the Nation are part of the lowest cost solution to the National Electricity Market (NEM), by providing dispatchable, abundant clean energy – where it’s needed and when it’s needed.

“Deep storage and flexible generation is essential to support increases in variable wind and solar generation that is occurring across the country,” Mr Balcombe said.

“Marinus Link and Battery of the Nation collectively present a huge opportunity to harness the increasing levels of renewable generation in Tasmania and Victoria.”

Marinus Link, and its supporting development in North West Tasmania and regional Victoria, will also offer a valuable opportunity to stimulate jobs and investment in these challenging times.

“The projects can create billions in economic growth, thousands of jobs, and be a catalyst of skills and local content development in Tasmania and regional Victoria,” Mr Balcombe said.

“Marinus Link unlocks a pipeline of investment in renewable energy and long-duration energy storage with an estimated value of up to $5.7 billion and 2,350 jobs – which includes Hydro Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation initiative.”

Marinus Link has progressed into the ‘Design and Approvals’ phase, thanks to $56 million in funding provided by the Australian Government, with an aim to be ‘shovel ready’ by the mid-2020s – an objective supported in the draft 2020 Integrated System Plan prepared by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO).

ENDS

Media contact

Dan Sinkovits | 0417 767 124
daniel.sinkovits@tasnetworks.com.au

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