More energy investment for Tasmania: Thunderbolt Hydro Power Station

The Hon Michael McCormack MP

Deputy Prime Minister

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development

Senator the Hon Eric Abetz

Senator for Tasmania

Senator Claire Chandler

Senator for Tasmania

Joint Media Release

31 October 2019

Tasmania continues to be a leader in clean energy with the Thunderbolt Hydro Power Station in Tasmania’s Central Highlands officially open for business.

Located on the Repulse River near Ouse, the 900 kilowatt run-of-river Thunderbolt Hydro Power Station harnesses the power of the river to generate clean energy for the Tasmanian grid.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said the Australian Government’s investment in the Thunderbolt hydroelectric power station will provide long term benefits to regional Tasmania.

“In addition to supporting 17 jobs during construction and using locally manufactured components and equipment, this project has upskilled local labour and will allow River Power Tasmania to expand its business and unlock further opportunities,“ Minister McCormack said.

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said the $2.3 million project will generate approximately 3.5 gigawatt-hours of renewable power annually, and complements other energy infrastructure that the Government is supporting in Tasmania, including the Battery of the Nation and Marinus Link.

“Hydro projects such as Thunderbolt are critical to our transition towards a lower emissions economy while, at the same time, providing reliable and secure energy,” Minister Taylor said.

Sentator for Tasmania Eric Abetz said Australian Government’s investment in the Thunderbolt hydroelectric power station will provide long term benefits to regional Tasmania.

“It has been exceptionally rewarding to work with Mr Nigel Tomlin from the very inception of this innovative and successful technology which further adds to Tasmania’s Hydro capacity. The facilitation of the partnership with the Federal Government has been extremely worthwhile,” Senator Abetz said.

Senator for Tasmania Claire Chandler said that the Thunderbolt Station was another exciting addition to Tasmania’s long heritage in hydro energy.

“The Coalition Government has made it a focus to invest in the next generation of hydro assets in Tasmania, both large and small, so that we can take advantage of the huge economic and job opportunities in this sector in the years ahead ” Senator Chandler said.

The project received $587,865 in funding from the Australian Government under the Regional Jobs and Investment Packages program. River Power Tasmania Pty Ltd provided the remaining funds.

Tasmania is uniquely positioned to to deliver much-needed energy storage and dispatchable renewable generation to the National Electricity Market.

The Australian and Tasmanian Governments are working to help realise this potential.

The Federal Government has committed $56 million to progress Marinus Link, the second interconnector between Tasmania and the mainland, and has committed to develop an underwriting mechanism for the Battery of the Nation project through its Underwriting New Generation Investments program.

Approximately 400MW of available dispatchable generation cannot currently be delivered to the mainland, due to constraints on Basslink, the first Tasmania-Victoria interconnector.

If the projects stack up they will help cut power prices and put an end to the sorts of recent blackouts that families and businesses have had to suffer through, while delivering jobs and a boost to the economy.

Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction