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Far from Ordinary

Renewables, Hydro, Wind, Geothermal

Tasmanian generator Hydro Tasmania contributes more than 50 per cent of Australia's renewable energy, mainly through hydro power stations, and has been a driving force in the commercialisation of wind energy. Basslink, an undersea cable, connects the State to the national electricity market. Tasmania exports power, via Basslink, when prices are favourable and imports energy via the inter-connector to conserve water in its hydro lakes during periods of below-average rainfall.

Hydro Tasmania operates $4.8 billion in assets throughout the State for the generation and trading of electricity. Two other Government-owned enterprises operate separately in the sector. Transend is responsible for electricity distribution, while Aurora Energy is reponsible for electricity marketing and also operates a gas-fired power station at Bell Bay. Hydro Tasmania's consulting arm, Entura, provides specialised engineering services to clients in Australia and overseas.

Hydro Tasmania sold a 75 per cent interest in two windfarms at Woolnorth in north-west Tasmania,totalling 140MW, to China-based Guohua Energy Investment in 2011. Revenue from the sale is helping in the construction of a $400 million windfarm at Musselroe in the north-east.

Hydro Tasmania fully owns Momentum Energy, a rapidly growing accredited GreenPower electricity retailer in Victoria.

Licences have been issued to search for hot, dry rocks suitable for the generation of geothermal energy in Tasmania. Geothermal energy can be generated by pumping water down to hot rocks about 3km underground. The heated water can then be used to drive generation turbines. The technology has potential to be an additional renewable and low-emission form of base-load energy.

Nu Energy, an SME specialising in renewables, employs 24 people designing, supplying, installing and maintaining such products as grid solar systems, solar panels, solar hot-water systems, wind turbines, remote-area power systems, eco-fridges and electric scooters.



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