Australian Energy Market Operator confirms urgent need for Marinus Link

Guy Barnett, Minister for Energy and Renewables,

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has today confirmed that the affordable, reliable and clean energy unlocked by Marinus Link is urgently needed.

Today, in a critical roadmap for Australia’s renewable energy future, AEMO’s 2022 Integrated System Plan (ISP) confirms that Marinus Link is an urgently needed and a critical energy project that will deliver $4.5 billion in net benefits to the nation, positioning Tasmania as a truly clean, smart and innovative State.

Marinus Link will provide improved access to Tasmania’s renewable energy resources, including deep storage hydropower and our world class wind energy, helping to improve energy system reliability and put downward pressure on power prices into the future.

The development of Marinus Link is a critical enabler of Battery of the Nation pumped hydro development and complementary to the State’s Green Hydrogen Vision.

The opportunities for Tasmania to be unlocked by Marinus are significant.

For Tasmanian families, Marinus Link will support lower wholesale energy prices in Tasmania through its two-way flow of energy, helping to keep future energy bills down for Tasmanian families and businesses. It will also mean increased energy security.

For Tasmanian businesses, it will unlock new renewable industries and green manufacturing, meaning jobs for Tasmanians for decades to come, attracting billions of dollars of investment in regional areas of Tasmania, including 1400 jobs in Tasmania and more than $7 billion in additional economic activity to the State.

There will also be telecommunications benefits, as Marinus Link will carry additional fibre optic capacity, increasing the diversity, capacity and resilience of Tasmania’s telecommunications links to the world. By growing fibre-optic capacity we can help keep downward pressure on the price of data services for Tasmanian homes and businesses, and support new opportunities in IT services and development.

And when it comes to climate action, Marinus Link will deliver a fundamental shift in our national journey to net zero with savings of at least 140 million tonnes of CO2 by 2050, the equivalent of taking a million cars off the road. Through Tasmania’s world class wind energy resources and deep hydro storages we can take a leadership role in emissions reduction that will provide generational benefits through more jobs, lower power prices and a cleaner world.

The Tasmanian Government has always maintained that the project will only go ahead if it is in the best interests of Tasmanians. That’s why we are working with the Australian Government to change the rules governing how large interconnector projects are paid for.

Our rule change request will allow for the costs of Marinus Link to be fairly distributed and ensure that all energy consumers, including those in Tasmania, are better off and receive the benefit of lower power bills. We expect this rule change request to be lodged with the Australian Energy Market Commission shortly, following consultation with the Australian Government.

The Tasmanian Government is also working closely and strategically with the Australian Government as we advance this important project and are continuing discussions in relation to the Australian Government’s Rewiring the Nation policy and the opportunities it presents for Marinus Link.

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