Hydro Tasmania’s $275 million investment to upgrade the Derwent system is underway, including a $28.5 million investment in the Cluny Power Station.
Following the completion of work on the Cluny Power Station, Hydro Tasmania will begin upgrades to the Repulse Power Station. The upgrade will eliminate the risk of an oil spill by giving the turbine a new water-filled turbine hub (replacing the oil one), and make it more flexible and reliable with a new modern control system.
The Cluny upgrade is part of a major refurbishment of Hydro Tasmania’s Derwent system, which is expected to increase electricity generation by more than 80 gigawatt hours (GWh) each year by 2021 – supporting plans to make Tasmania the renewable ‘Battery of the Nation’.
Hydro Tasmania is currently identifying a shortlist of sites for pumped hydro that have the potential to generate up to an extra 2,500 MW of power – enough to power 500,000 homes right around the nation. The Australian National University announced that it had identified over 2,000 potential pumped hydro sites in Tasmania.
Hydro Tasmania CEO, Steve Davy, said, “At the moment, about 80 per cent of Australia’s electricity comes from coal-fired plants that will eventually close. Tasmania currently provides about five per cent of Australia’s energy.
“By increasing Tasmania’s interconnection, boosting our hydropower system, and further developing the state’s world-class wind power, we could grow that contribution significantly.
“Projects like the Cluny upgrade are about getting the most generation we can out of our existing hydropower assets, by boosting efficiency and reliability.
“Longer-term, the ‘Battery of the Nation’ vision involves big projects like major pumped storage hydro. But early grass-roots hydropower projects like the Cluny upgrade will also play a vital part.”
Work is also underway to improve two of Tasmania’s major power generators – the Tarraleah and Gordon Power Stations.