Hydro Tasmania planning reorganization to adapt to changing market conditions

Hydro Tasmania says it has begun a consultation process to restructure the organization to capitalize on the opportunities presented by the transformation of the Australian energy sector.

For more than 100 years Hydro Tasmania has been an integral part of the Tasmanian community and a strong contributor to the economy. However, the National Electricity Market (NEM) is changing. The rapid increase in variable renewable energy, including wind and solar, is making energy storage a crucial component of the future grid. Hydro Tasmania owns and operates hydropower schemes and has the potential to expand its system to include pumped hydro storage.

In December 2020, Hydro Tasmania selected Lake Cethana as its preferred pumped storage hydro site and said it would progress to the final feasibility stage. Lake Cethana, in the Mersey-Forth region, offers 12 hours of storage capacity in a new upper reservoir. 

Hydro Tasmania is central to the government’s vision to double the island’s renewable energy generation by 2040, according to a release, and its Battery of the Nation initiative has the potential to play a key role in Australia’s transition to a clean energy future.

Hydro Tasmania has been reviewing its business operations to prepare to capitalize on this opportunity. This means focusing on its core business of generating clean and affordable electricity for Tasmanians and becoming more agile to adapt quickly to take advantage of opportunities that will grow its business and return economic value to Tasmania.

Hydro Tasmania employees have been engaged in a business transformation process over the past six months to organize around delivery of core services and future opportunities, while flattening the structure to empower its people. The proposed changes will create a number of new roles designed to meet future needs and will also see a number of current roles no longer required. While the final outcome will be determined after the conclusion of the consultation process, Hydro Tasmania anticipates a headcount reduction of about 5% (about 50 FTE) over a 12-month period.

Where people are displaced, the company says it will offer training and development to support them to transition to newly created, future-focused roles, as well as roles that become available through natural attrition where possible.

These structural changes will be supported by technology investment, increased automation and a focus on future proofing the business to ensure the skills, expertise and asset base to thrive in the future energy market.

“We’ve been generating clean energy for Tasmanians for more than a century and this will always be our priority, but as the electricity industry undergoes unprecedented disruption we must adapt by becoming more agile and leaning into the opportunities of the future market,” said Hydro Tasmania Chief Executive Officer Evangelista Albertini. “Hydro Tasmania’s future is extremely bright, with us poised to support Australia’s transition to a clean energy future through the Battery of the Nation initiative.

“We recognize that change is always difficult and we have been working with our people to redesign our business around the essential services we must provide and the agility we need to play a crucial role in Australia’s clean energy future, ensuring all Tasmanians benefit from a sustainable and profitable Hydro Tasmania.”

The proposed organizational changes will not impact energy security or electricity prices, Hydro Tasmania said.

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