Hydro Tasmania invites public to take part in company’s centennial celebration

Australian utility Hydro Tasmania has invited the public to help the company celebrate its 100th anniversary.

Launched yesterday in a ceremony that featured Tasmanian Energy Minister Matthew Groom, the occasion will be marked with a special Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra concert, a schools initiative, power station tours, and a “Back to Waddamana Day” that will recognize the utility’s first hydroelectric plant.

The creation of the company’s original Hydro Electric Department traces its roots to October 1914, though the Waddamana project wasn’t completed until 1916. This year’s events commemorate not only those who worked on the Waddamana plant, Hydro Tasmania said, but those who have come after as well.

“The legacy of the ‘Hydro’ is not only its engineering and construction feats, but that it was carved out of the state’s harsh interior by ordinary people working in extraordinary conditions,” Groom said. “Thousands of workers toiled on building the power schemes — many of them displaced by hard economic times, war and strife.

“Their legacy remains strong to this day, which is why people are front and center of the celebrations to recognize the Hydro’s 100th birthday later this year.”

Hydro Tasmania’s event program begins this week as part of Hobart’s Dark Mofo festival with a light installation titled Articulated Intersect that will hang over the waterfront for the next two weeks.

The company will also project archival photographs and videos portraying its operations and people onto its Hobart office, in addition to:

  • Curating a traveling public exhibition telling the company’s story that will visit Launceston, Hobart and Queenstown from August through October before being permanently located in Tarraleah;
  • Presenting a Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra concert November 8;
  • Providing power station tours to the public between August and November;
  • Sponsoring school competitions;
  • Hosting a “Back to Waddamana” event October 26;
  • Supporting the Queenstown Heritage and Arts Festival in October; and
  • Reprinting the company’s oral history, “Ticklebelly Tales and Other Stories from the People of The Hydro“.

Earlier this year, Hydro Tasmania sought information regarding a photograph taken in the 1930s during the construction of the 90-MW Tarraleah plant.

More information about the company’s centenary celebration can be found at Hydro100.com.au.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for HydroWorld.com.

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