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Study underway on 2nd power cable

Former Liberal Party Minister, Warwick Smith, will head up a feasibility study into a $1 billion second Bass Strait undersea power cable, the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, and the Premier, Will Hodgman, announced in late April. The study will involve the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and the Australian Energy Market Operator. The move was announced as Tasmania battled an energy crisis due to a fault in the existing BassLink cable and low rainfall. Mr Smith’s study will incorporate existing work by a Hydro Tasmania/State Government team. Mr Turnbull said a second cable would also open up the possibility of increased renewable developments and increased energy trading. “The combination of hydro power, which is dispatchable at any time, and wind would enable Tasmania to deliver … right across the nation,” Mr Turnbull said. “This has the potential of being a very big, significant economic investment and economic opportunity for Tasmania.” A preliminary report is expected next month. The Chairman of the Tasmanian Renewable Energy Industry Development Board, Peter Rae, said a major study in 2011 found the proposal was technically feasible and, with Commonwealth funding, could be finished within five years.

4 May 2016, Edition 171

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