Three sites — Lake Cethana, Lake Rowallan and Tribute — have emerged as the most promising pumped storage hydro sites in Tasmania as a result of studies done over the past 20 months. These sites were selected from the original list of 14 potential pumped hydro options in Tasmania.
The sites represent strong and sustainable development opportunities with the sort of long-term storage options the future national electricity market will need, Australian utility Hydro Tasmania said.
The three sites are:
- Lake Cethana, in the Mersey-Forth region, offers 12 hours of storage capacity in a new upper reservoir;
- Lake Rowallan, in the Mersey-Forth region, offers 24 hours of storage in a new upper reservoir;
- Tribute, on the West Coast, offers 31 hours of storage by establishing a new connection between Lake Plimsoll and Lake Murchison.
Among these, Hydro Tasmania plans to select one strong development opportunity that could be taken forward and be ready to operate when 1,200 MW of additional Bass Strait interconnection comes online.
The utility says it will continue pre-feasibility work on the remaining sites to identify those opportunities that can deliver the target capacity total of 2,500 MW over time. That will take into account work that will be done on the three most promising sites.
The next stage involves a more intensive feasibility study to gather more detailed information and assess the suitability of each of the sites for development. This stage will involve engagement with local communities.
This pumped hydro analysis has funding support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), as part of its Advancing Renewables program.