The Hodgman Government, through Hydro Tasmania, has committed up to $30 million to take the first phase of Battery of the Nation to investment stage by 2021, and in addition to the Morrison Government’s commitment to the second interconnector between Tasmania and the mainland, the Commonwealth commits to develop an underwriting mechanism for the project through its Underwriting New Generation Investments program.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that combined with his government’s $56 million investment in the second interconnector between Tasmania and the mainland, Battery of the Nation would help cut power prices and put an end to the sorts of recent blackouts that families and businesses have had to suffer through.
“Battery of the Nation is a vision of that uses technology to harness Tasmania’s natural advantages to tackle the problems in our electricity market,” the Prime Minister said.
“We want to work with the Hodgman Government to deliver Battery of the Nation because it’s technology that generates clean and affordable power that will make Australia’s electricity supply more reliable.
“This project is about helping those families and businesses who have had to cope with devastating blackouts in recent months and years and helping make their power bills cheaper.”
The Tasmanian Government’s investment will support the feasibility assessment of three shortlisted pumped hydro energy storage sites in north-western Tasmania, and advance the first of these sites to final investment decision. The three sites have a combined storage capacity of up to 40GWh – equivalent to more than 300 SA Tesla batteries – and Battery of the Nation could supply up to 2,500MW of new, dispatchable power.
The Battery of the Nation and Marinus Link projects are expected to create up to 3,800 direct and indirect jobs during construction and deliver an economic stimulus of up to $7 billion, predominantly to north-western Tasmania and regional Victoria.
Premier Hodgman said that these nation-building projects represent a massive economic opportunity for Tasmanians.
“Battery of the Nation will create thousands of jobs and deliver billions in investment to Tasmania over the coming decade,” said Premier Hodgman.
“These initiatives will cement our status as the nation’s renewable energy powerhouse.”
Approximately 400MW of available dispatchable generation cannot currently be delivered to the mainland, due to constraints on Basslink, the first Tasmania-Victoria interconnector.
“The Government is committed to securing new, reliable generation,” said Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor.
“Battery of the Nation is a fine example of a project that could deliver more reliable generation, increase competition, and would drive down prices as a result.”
Tasmanian Energy Minister Guy Barnett said investment in affordable, reliable and clean generation will help Tasmania reach and exceed the Tasmanian Government’s target of 100 per cent self-sufficiency in on-island energy generation.
“This means downward pressure on prices and greater energy security for Tasmanians. Mainland Australia will also be able to share in these benefits, being low cost, reliable and clean energy,” said Minister Barnett.
The Morrison Government will also invest $3.2m to establish a Priority Transmission Taskforce to support new models of funding interconnected transmission, that is increasingly needed to keep the lights on and bring prices down for Australian families and businesses.