Over the past few years three key projects have been transforming Tasmania’s energy sector. These include:
Tasmanian Natural Gas Project
The Gas Pipeline from Victoria to Tasmania is already supplying major customers, including the Bell Bay Power Station which has been converted from oil-fired to gas. Natural gas pipelines are being progressively rolled out to industrial, commercial and residential customers.
The first two stages of Hydro Tasmania’s Woolnorth Wind Farm have been completed. Construction of stage three, Woolnorth Studland Bay, commenced on 12 January 2006 and is due to be completed and the turbines operational by early 2007.
Stage three comprise 25 new wind turbines each with a generating capacity of 3 MW for a total capacity of 75MW. This will take the total generation capacity of the north-west coast wind farm to 140 MW.
Basslink and entry to the National Electricity Market
Joining the National Electricity Market and the commissioning of Basslink brought about competition in the electricity supply industry in Tasmania.
Tasmanian generators are able to export electricity across Bass Strait, using Basslink during peak demand periods when the mainland wholesale price is higher. It also allows electricity to be imported when the mainland wholesale price is lower.
These projects are key elements of the Tasmanian Government’s Energy policy Powering Prosperity released by the Minister for Infrastructure, Energy and Resources in December 2004.
Information on Powering Prosperity can be found at the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources’ web site at: www.dier.tas.gov.au.