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Energy stories

The following stories relate to Tasmania’s Energy sector:

Government promises 1,000 GWs

Edition 187_Cluny

The generation of renewable energy is to be ramped up in Tasmania to make the State totally self-reliant in terms of energy.

6 September 2017, Edition 187

Wind project for Low Head

A fifth wind farm – at Low Head near the mouth of the Tamar River – has been added to Tasmania’s imposing line-up of proposals. The 10-turbine, privately funded project, first mooted in 2008, is planned for a stretch of coastal land between Low Head and Beechford. The $50 to $60 million development is being driven by local entrepreneur Shane Bartel. It is expected to create up to 50 jobs during construction and up to 10 on-going positions. Although relatively small, it has helped push total investment in new wind energy in the State beyond $2 billion, with around 410 turbines to be built and more than 1,200 MW of energy to be generated at five sites. The Low Head development application, development proposal and environmental management plan are open to public consultation at George Town Council until 26 August. In June, large projects had been announced at Wild Cattle Hill, in the central highlands, and on Robbins Island and Jims Plains, in the north-west. On 4 July, Cabinet met in Queenstown to ratify a supply agreement for the Westcoast Wind project on a cattle farm at Granville Harbour.

31 July 2017, Edition 186

$2.5m to map tidal energy

An ambitious UTAS project to record and map the energy within Australia’s tides, potentially unlocking billions in investment, has been granted $2.5 million by the Federal Government. The project aims to create an online atlas which will detail potential resources from some the world’s largest and most reliable tides. Leading researcher, Associate Professor Irene Penesis of the Australian Maritime College in Launceston, said: “Potential investors are currently held back by a lack of detailed information on tidal resources that would help them understand the risks and opportunities available.” The three-year research project will be funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. Australia’s Minister for the Environment, Josh Frydenberg, said: “As a reliable, low-emissions form of energy, tidal-generation technology could be integrated to enhance the country’s grid stability, or to provide support to off-grid industrial sites and remote communities.”

31 July 2017, Edition 186

Tasmania set to ride the wind

Edition 185_SimpsonSmithLrg

The Tasmanian economy looks set for an exciting wind ride following the announcement of four major new wind farm projects.

4 July 2017, Edition 185

$15m cost for energy price cap

Hydro Tasmania announced a plan in May to sacrifice up to $15 million in revenue in implementing a Government-mandated limit on power price rises for households and businesses. Under new legislation rises will not be allowed to exceed the consumer price index for 12 months – a rate of about 2 per cent. Energy issues in other States have driven up wholesale prices on the National Electricity Market and this was threatening substantial rises for 2,000 unregulated customers, who have short-term contracts. Hydro Tasmania’s Chief Executive, Steve Davy, said: “We’re forecast to make a modest profit … but our focus at the moment is energy security and sustainable prices for Tasmanians.” The Treasurer, Peter Gutwein, said Treasury would complete a review next year of options to untie the State from interstate wholesale prices. Meanwhile, a strong response has persuaded the Government to double funding for the Energy Efficiency Loan Scheme for households and small businesses to $20 million. The scheme enables borrowers to access three-year, interest-free loans of up to $10,000 to buy energy-efficient appliances.

6 June 2017, Edition 184

Entura secures solar contract

Tasmanian power and water consulting firm, Entura, has been appointed Owner’s Engineer for two solar farms in Queensland. Canadian Solar, one of the world’s largest solar companies, will undertake the projects at Longreach (17MW) and Oakey (30 MW) following part-funding by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. Construction is expected to start this month and commercial generation to be achieved in the first quarter of 2018. As Owner’s Engineer, Entura will review designs, documentation, calculations and reports produced by the engineering, procurement and construction contractors to ensure they are fit for purpose and in accordance with Australian standards and regulations.

1 May 2017, Edition 183

State poised to be ‘nation’s battery’

Edition 183_Turnbull and the Premier V2

Energy projects worth $3 billion will turn Tasmania into Australia’s battery in a vision unveiled by the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, in April.

1 May 2017, Edition 183

Odds shorten on energy projects

The State Government is more hopeful of Federal investment in pumped hydro infrastructure in Tasmania and a second Bass Strait power cable following talks in March between the two governments. As a debate about energy reliability and affordability dominated the national political landscape, the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, announced plans for pumped hydro to double the output of the Snowy Mountains Hydroelectric Scheme. Tasmania also has suitable terrain for pumped hydro, as well as the renewable energy to pump water back to highland storages so it can be used again and again to generate electricity. Tasmania’s Minister for Energy, Matthew Groom, said: “The Prime Minister acknowledged Tasmania’s further renewable energy potential and has committed to detailed discussions with the Tasmanian Government to advance a number of significant renewable energy developments in wind and hydro. I also raised … the second interconnector and the role it would play in maximising Tasmania’s contribution of renewable energy into the national energy market.”

6 April 2017, Edition 182

Grants for bioenergy, biomass

Bioenergy and biomass were the focus of 13 grants of up to $100,000 announced in October under the $1.25 million Wood and Fibre Processing Innovation Program. The Meander Valley Council, Dorset Renewable Industries and Norske Skog were among organisations to benefit. Meander Valley Council’s Craig Perkins said the $100,000 grant would help fund a $375,000 feasibility study into bioenergy production. Partly financed by council, the study would look at how such local businesses as Tasmanian Alkaloids could utilise bioenergy – leading to private investment opportunities. Dorset Renewable Industries will use its $100,000 to further develop a wood pellet plant project, while Norske Skog will use its grant of the same amount to help in building a residue-processing plant at Boyer. Other grant recipients were: Mondelez Australia; Pentarch Forest Products; East Tamar Maintenance Services; Wood Pellets Tasmania; Huon Valley Timber; ARTEC Australia; and Botanical Resources Australia.

3 November 2016, Tasmania’s Stories Edition 177

Huonville makes global schools final

Huonville High School is in the running to win $US 100,000 after becoming the only Australian finalist in an international competition on renewable energy and sustainability innovation. The school is one of only 14 from around the world to reach the finals of the Global High Schools Zayed Future Energy Prize, which aims to inspire future generations “to be responsible, sustainable citizens”. Students from Huonville designed a range of sustainable solutions for their school, including a windmill, pellet mill, bio-digester and a bicycle-powered mobile cinema. Coordinator Nel Smit said: “It is huge; a little school in country Tasmania has been awarded this international recognition for their initiatives in renewable energy and innovation. It just provides an example of what a very small school can do with … some innovation and leadership.”

3 November 2016, Tasmania’s Stories Edition 177

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Tassie Kangaroos bounce into history

Edition 201_TasKanga

No Christmas rest for the stars of Tasmania’s first AFL team – The North Melbourne Tassie Kangaroos – with training in full swing as they get ready to create history in the New Year.

11 December 2018, Edition 201

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