Entura’s studies culminate in selection of preferred Tasmanian pumped hydro site

December 17, 2020

Entura welcomes the significant milestone, announced this week, that Lake Cethana has been selected as Hydro Tasmania’s preferred site for a Tasmanian pumped hydro opportunity, with the project now set to progress to final feasibility stage.

Entura has been instrumental in the pre-feasibility and feasibility investigations of three promising Tasmanian pumped hydro sites, narrowed down from early studies of 14 options.

Pumped hydro opportunities at Lake Cethana and Lake Rowallan in Tasmania’s North West and another near Tribute Power Station on the West Coast were prioritised for assessment on a range of technical, environmental, social and economic factors.

“This announcement is the culmination of an enormous effort over the past two years from Entura’s specialists in engineering design, environment, stakeholder engagement and planning,” said Entura’s Technical Design Manager of the Battery of the Nation pumped hydro feasibility studies, Nick West.

“The Cethana option has deep storage capacity, greater cost certainty, environmental and social sustainability, and flexibility in sizing and capacity, making it the preferred site for finalisation of feasibility studies,” he said.

“We are excited to be progressing Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation opportunity with storage infrastructure that will support Australia’s clean energy transition.”

Feasibility studies on the Lake Cethana pumped hydro project will continue in 2021, including more on-ground investigations and engagement with local communities and stakeholders to look more closely at technical, social and environmental factors associated with the project.

The announcement came alongside the signing of a bilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Tasmanian and Australian Governments, marked by a visit from the Prime Minister, Tasmanian Premier, and Federal and State Energy Ministers to Trevallyn Power Station.

The MOU outlines a shared path forward for further progressing Marinus Link, which would provide 1500 MW of new interconnection between Tasmania and mainland Australia. The MOU also includes support for the pumped hydro and hydropower upgrade opportunities in the existing portfolio that form the Battery of the Nation initiative.

“The announcement of the selection of Cethana and the signing of the MOU are major milestones for Battery of the Nation,” said Tammy Chu, Entura’s Managing Director.

“With progress on the Cethana pumped hydro project and Marinus Link, Tasmania can look forward to unlocking our cost-effective, dispatchable, highly flexible renewable energy and deep storage capacity so that it is ready when the market needs it,” she said.

“At this pivotal time in Australia’s energy transition, Entura is proud to apply our extensive hydropower and pumped hydro expertise to support Tasmania’s journey beyond 100% renewables and its provision of affordable, reliable, sustainable energy to the nation.”

The Cethana pumped hydro development pathway will align with development milestones for the second of the two 750MW Marinus Link interconnectors.

Pre-feasibility studies were jointly funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and Hydro Tasmania.

Announcements made this week included support for progressing another component of the Battery of the Nation opportunity: the redevelopment of Hydro Tasmania’s existing Tarraleah hydropower scheme to be able to take advantage of Tasmania’s increased ability to export power into the National Electricity Market via Marinus Link. Feasibility studies for the redevelopment have also been undertaken by Entura and early works on the project could potentially start as soon as 2021.