The Repurposing the Tarraleah Hydropower Scheme project is a $5 million feasibility study on repurposing the Tarraleah hydropower scheme to produce more energy, more flexibly in the future, based on a preferred capacity option identified in the pre-feasibility study.
How the project works
The Repurposing the Tarraleah Hydropower Scheme project is a feasibility study that continues the work Hydro Tasmania undertook in its pre-feasibility study: ‘Battery of the Nation – Augmenting the Tasmanian Hydropower System’. Hydro Tasmania is seeking to repurpose the Tarraleah hydropower scheme, to optimise the value of the renewable energy contribution of the scheme by increasing its flexibility and responsiveness. The feasibility study involves undertaking a comprehensive technical, environmental, commercial assessment of the Tarraleah scheme repurposing. This will determine the preferred future strategy – refurbishing the existing scheme in its current form or redeveloping it into a new scheme.
Area of innovation
As the economy decarbonises, more variable generation (such as wind and solar) will enter the market as baseload coal generation continues to retire. This creates the need for new sources of dispatchable energy generation.
Getting the most out of our existing hydropower generation is a key part of the Battery of the Nation initiative. With the support of ARENA, Hydro Tasmania is assessing options for reimagining the scheme to deliver more renewable energy, more flexibly in the future, to better respond to future market needs and demand.
The Tarraleah hydropower scheme has very high utilisation and generates around 625 GWh annually of largely baseload power. Due to its current configuration and age, the Tarraleah scheme is inflexible and substantial investment is required to ensure reliable operation well into the future. Under future market conditions, a repurposed scheme can play a critical role in flexible and responsive electricity generation. A repurposed scheme will produce more energy, more flexibly in the future and the scheme’s existing installed capacity could be more than doubled. By converting the station to flexible operation, instead of just baseload, it could flexibly boost output at times of high market demand.
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