A report has revealed that Tasmania could require as many as four new interconnectors to be installed between the island state and mainland Australia in order to become the battery of the nation, which provides the NEM with as much as 2.5 GW of pumped hydro energy storage capacity.
HydroTasmania recently announced that ARENA-backed feasibility studies had revealed the potential for Tasmania to provide almost 5GW of storage capacity from 14 of its best pumped hydro sites. An article posted on the website of RenewEconomy stated that the solution was praised as being “cost competitive against all other realistic options” for the future NEM. ARENA estimated the total capital cost amounting to $1.1 – $2.34 million per MW to develop approximately 2500MW of Tasmania’s best pumped hydro sites.
ARENA and HydroTasmania have both recognised that “fully unlocking” Tasmania’s pumped hydro potential would require extra interconnection with the rest of Australia beyond the existing Basslink cable. Plans for a second interconnector are already being considered and is considered “a critical milestone for Battery of the Nation.”
The article also presented a closer look at the report titled “Battery of the Nation: Analysis of the Future National Electricity Market” by breaking down some of the important aspects of the report. The report recommends that at least four new connection cables could be needed between Tasmania and mainland Australia, “depending on the amount of new pumped hydro and wind power capacity being added to the mix.”
“For the 2.5GW of the ideal pumped hydro scenario, a total of four interconnectors would have to be installed by the early 2030s. On cost, however, the report says that the two major contributors in the Battery of Nation project would be the variable gas costs (fuel) and the wind energy,” the report further stated.
The analysis implied that transmission and interconnection costs are only minor contributors to the total required investment. To know more about the findings of the report, visit the website here.
Phillip Riley is a renewable energy executive recruitment firm based in Melbourne, Australia and with offices in the United States and the Philippines.