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

no comments

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

no comments

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.

no comments

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

no comments

In February 2019, TasNetworks published its Initial Feasibility Report for Project Marinus, which considers the feasibility of Marinus Link in relation to the technical, environmental, planning and economic elements of the project. 

Submissions from the following companies and organisations:

no comments

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

no comments

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)…

no comments

Project Timeline

February 1st, 2019

A major milestone is approaching with the launch of our Initial Feasibility Report in February 2019.  This report conveys the findings of the analysis undertaken so far covering technical, environmental, planning and economic matters. In 2019, we will be engaging with the communities in Victoria and Tasmania via a number of public forums to provide more information and seek feedback on Project Marinus ahead of our Business Case Assessment report, in December 2019.

no comments

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. 

no comments

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…
read more

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…
read more

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…
read more