Will Hodgman

Premier of Tasmania

15 February 2016

Matthew Groom, Minister for Energy

Energy update

Tasmania continues to face a very challenging and difficult energy situation as a result of the unprecedented combination of record low spring rainfall, and the Basslink outage.

Hydro Tasmania has advised that the updated water storage level for this week is 17.3 per cent, down from 18.3 per cent a week ago.

Our advice is that storages under normal conditions will reach a low of 14 per cent.

Tasmanians can be assured that the Government will do everything necessary to maintain energy security.

A number of contingencies are now being activated, including:

  • installing 100MW of containerised diesel generation to be able to generate by the end of March, with six generators already in the State and a further 18 in Melbourne awaiting shipment;
  • securing an additional 100MW of containerised diesel generation to be installed by the end of April; and
  • an additional 75 MW of gas fired generation will be in place at the Tamar Valley Power Station by the end of the March/early April.

On top of this the Tamar Valley Power Station combined cycle unit has been operating continuously since 19 January, and Hydro Tasmania has also been operating the available open cycle capacity 24 hours a day from mid-January generating 290 MW of energy. With all plant running at TVPS the station can provide up to 386 MW.

The temporary generation that has now been committed to, together with the Tamar Valley Power Station at full capacity, will exceed the full import capability of Basslink.

The additional temporary generation currently being sourced together with the announced major industrial load reductions is equivalent to another large power plant.

The Government will continues to stay in close communication with Basslink and we expect Basslink will provide a further public update on the repair work soon.

The Tasmanian people can be assured that the Government will continue to work through this very difficult situation calmly and methodically in order to maintain energy security for Tasmania.

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