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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Entura have released their report into further pumped hydro cost modelling. Download the full report here (.pdf)…

“To inform future modelling of Australia’s National Electricity Market (NEM), better information is needed on the cost of pumped hydro energy storage projects (PHES) across the NEM states. TasNetworks engaged Entura to develop a cost model for PHES to inform its market modelling for Project Marinus and with a view to sharing the conclusions of the study with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) for use in future Integrated System Plan (ISP) modelling.
Neither capital costs (CAPEX) nor operations and maintenance costs (OPEX) for PHES in Australia are well understood in the market. This is mainly due to the fact that no PHES have been built in Australia for over 30 years. Around the rest of the world, however, rapid uptake of the technology has continued during that period. As renewable penetration increases and thermal plant retirements continue, interest in PHES in Australia grows. PHES has the potential to play a major role in firming renewables so better understanding of both CAPEX and OPEX are required by electricity market stakeholders.
This study draws on the experience of Entura, who has current data on the costs of developing, implementing and operating hydropower projects around the world as well as exposure to the PHES market in Australia. Entura has drawn on the wealth of experience within Hydro Tasmania to support the estimation of OPEX for PHES.”

From the Report – Map showing Renewable Energy Zones

Download the full report here (.pdf)…

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Project Marinus was established by TasNetworks, with funding support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Tasmanian Government, to complete a detailed Feasibility and Business Case Assessment of a second Bass Strait electricity interconnector.
Watch ARENA’s Battery of the Nation video here. 

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