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Energy stories

The following stories relate to Tasmania’s Energy sector:

$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

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

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

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

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

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

Rain boosts Hydro, bogs farmers

Edition_177_Lake Gordon ... strong recovery from record low

Spring rain lifted Hydro Tasmania’s storage levels to beyond 45 per cent for the first time in almost three years, but the wet weather seriously disrupted agriculture and threatens vegetable and poppy shortages.

1 November 2016, Tasmania’s Stories Edition 177

Tasmania powers up again

Edition 173_ Water spills from a Hydro Tasmania dam_Image courtesy of the ABC.

The BassLink undersea cable that enables electricity to be traded across Bass Strait was returned to service on 12 June, ending Tasmania’s prolonged and expensive energy crisis.

5 July 2016, Tasmania’s Stories Edition 173

Wind/solar for desert town

Hydro Tasmania has secured an $18.4 million grant to fund a project to introduce renewable energy to the remote South Australian opal-mining town of Cooper Pedy. The community of 3,500 relies on diesel generators for energy and Hydro Tasmania will use methods developed on King Island to supply 70 per cent of energy consumption through solar and wind generation. The project has been funded by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. The CEO of Hydro Tasmania, Steve Davy, said: “We’re going to see world-leading Tasmanian innovation and technology used to transform a remote town in the Australian desert into a renewable-energy oasis. Only Hydro Tasmania has demonstrated that unique ability at megawatt scale. Australia and the world are increasingly taking notice.”

5 July 2016, Tasmania’s Stories Edition 173

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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Edition 198_PrinceOfWales

Momentum grows for a special defence precinct. Please enjoy your September newsletter.

16 September 2018, Edition 198

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