Prime Minister commits $56 million to Marinus Link progress

February 25th, 2019

Category: News

TasNetworks has released its Initial Feasibility Report considering a second Bass Strait electricity interconnector, Marinus Link. This is the first milestone of the $20 million dollar Project Marinus, supported by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), investigating further Bass Strait interconnection as part of Australia’s future electricity grid. The release of the report coincides with today’s announcement by the Commonwealth Government of $56 million to fast track the development of Marinus Link.

The current assessment builds on the 2017 report by Dr John Tamblyn, Feasibility of a Tasmanian Second Interconnector – Final Study commissioned by the Tasmania and Commonwealth Governments. Dr Tamblyn recommended that more detailed study be undertaken when one or more preconditions were met, that are now eventuating. Work undertaken by Hydro Tasmania with ARENA funding support highlights Tasmania’s potential to become Australia’s renewable energy battery, and the Australian Energy Market Operator has developed the first Integrated System Plan for the National Electricity Market, with interconnection playing a key role.

“The Tasmanian Government’s “Marinus Link and Battery of the Nation Current Situation Assessment” report sets the strategic context, with Marinus Link being a critical enabling component.” TasNetworks CEO Mr Lance Balcombe says.

Mr Balcombe, stated, “Our Initial Feasibility Report shows that based on the work to date Marinus Link is technically feasible and economically viable under a number of plausible scenarios. Therefore, we should continue to progress the work on Marinus Link, to support a transforming energy market.”

Favourable routes have been identified that are feasible and likely to obtain environmental and planning approvals. The favourable routes connect the existing electricity transmission network in the Sheffield or Burnie areas in north-west Tasmania with the transmission network in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley. The link will utilise high voltage direct current (HVDC) cable to cross Bass Strait and modern converter station technology designed to support a transforming power system.

Ms Bess Clark, General Manager Project Marinus stated, “The National Electricity Market (NEM) is going through unprecedented change, with the retirement of coal-fired generators and increasing penetration of intermittent renewable generation such as wind and solar. This is changing the way electricity is produced, transported and used. The NEM will need an interconnected grid, dispatchable on-demand energy and long duration storage to meet customer energy needs at lowest cost. Our analysis shows that Marinus Link can support these outcomes.”

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said, “The Initial Feasibility Report findings demonstrate how a second interconnector could help unlock Tasmania’s potential as the battery of the nation while also providing grid security and reliable supply to both Tasmania and Victoria.” Mr Balcombe welcomed the significant funding announcement from the Commonwealth Government today. “It will allow TasNetworks to build project momentum so Marinus Link is in service when it’s needed.  Marinus Link will unlock Tasmania’s world class renewable energy resources, and its construction will provide significant economic stimulus in regional Tasmania and Victoria”.

Download the Fact Sheet, Overview, Initial Feasibility Report and Appendices Below (.pdf):

Initial Feasibility Report Fact Sheet
Initial Feasibility Report Overview
Initial Feasibility Report
Initial Feasibility Report Appendices

For media enquiries, please call Project Marinus Communications Specialist,
Dan Sinkovits on 0417 767 124


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