Undersea electricity link boosts renewable energy

Wednesday, 11 December, 2019

Undersea electricity link boosts renewable energy

A new interconnector linking Tasmania and Victoria via an undersea electricity connection could be operational by 2027, according to ARENA.

Known as Marinus Link, the 1500 MW capacity connection has the potential to provide greater renewable energy potential to the national electricity market (NEM).

TasNetworks has now released the final business case assessment for Marinus Link, which would operate alongside the existing privately owned Basslink interconnector.

If built, Marinus Link could support Australia’s transition to a low emissions future by expanding the renewable electricity generation and storage capacity in Tasmania, which could be exported across Bass Strait to support the NEM.

At present, Tasmania can only export 500 MW as it is limited by the capacity of the existing interconnector Bass Link.

“Tasmania has the potential to support the renewable energy transformation of the NEM that is currently taking place. With this business case showing that Marinus Link is feasible, we could see its vast pumped hydro and wind potential playing a key role in providing clean, low-cost and dispatchable power to the NEM in the future,” said ARENA CEO Darren Miller.

The business case shows that the optimal capacity of the Marinus Link would be 1500 MW, built in two separate HVDC cables of 750 MW each. The proposed route would run from northwest Tasmania near Burnie to the Latrobe Valley in Victoria.

According to the business case, Marinus Link and supporting infrastructure could provide net energy market benefits to the NEM in excess of the project’s estimated $3.5 billion cost over the life of the asset. The business case found Marinus Link could also unlock up to $5 billion in new renewable energy investments including in long duration pumped hydro and wind farm development in Tasmania, as well as having $2.9 billion in wider economic benefits to Tasmania and regional Victoria.

The project has received $20 million in funding support from the Tasmanian Government through TasNetworks and the Commonwealth Government through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Christoph Burgstedt

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