Electricity back in black
Tasmania is powering again – literally. The state’s electricity exports are back in the black, being once again a net electricity exporter, largely fuelled by full dams and a surge in solar power usage. This is a dramatic reversal in fortunes from 2016. Two years ago Tasmania was in the midst of an energy crisis, sparked by a perfect storm of hydro dam levels falling to 12.8 per cent capacity due to record low rainfall and an extended outage of the Basslink power cable preventing electricity imports. The state responded by bringing in diesel generators to boost power supplies and recommissioning the Tamar Valley Power Station. The Tasmanian Economic Regulator’s recent annual report shows the amount of power produced across the network was 10 per cent higher than in the past two years, despite an increase in demand. It pointed to full dams which now sit at around 40 per cent capacity, and the growth of solar power.
7 December 2018, Edition 201