Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Upgrade for Derwent Valley power station

Hydro Tasmania has upgraded the Repulse Power Station.
IMPROVEMENTS to power stations in the Derwent Valley are expected to increase hydroelectricity generation by more than 80 gigawatt hours a year by 2021.

Visiting Repulse Power Station near Ouse on Monday, Energy Minister Guy Barnett said this was another step in the work to prepare Tasmania to become the "Battery of the Nation".

The power station was commissioned in 1967, with its adjacent concrete arched dam on the River Derwent which creates a small water storage known as Lake Repulse. Water passes through the station's single turbine and back into the river via Cluny Lagoon.

Mr Barnett said the Repulse upgrade would eliminate the risk of an oil spill in the power station by replacing the turbine’s oil hub with a new water-filled hub, and making the station more flexible and reliable with a modern control system.

The improvements are part of a major upgrade of Hydro Tasmania’s Derwent system, which is expected to increase electricity generation by more than 80 gigawatt hours each year by 2021, supporting plans to make Tasmania the "Battery of the Nation".

Hydro Tasmania chief operations officer Jesse Clark said the company's 10-year strategic asset management plan guided continuing investment to ensure the state's hydropower assets remain fit for purpose.

“In the year just ended, we invested around $105 million in generation assets, including the Repulse upgrade,” Mr Clark said. “Prior to Repulse, we invested $28.5 million in upgrading the Cluny Power Station," he said.

“Projects like this are about getting the most generation we can out of our existing hydropower assets by boosting efficiency and reliability. Longer term, the Battery of the Nation (BotN) vision involves major projects like pumped hydro storage but this work also plays a vital part.

Energy Minister Guy Barnett, left, with Hydro Tasmania
workers at Repulse Power Station near Ouse.
“The opportunities forecast to flow from BotN include thousands of jobs in regional Tasmania. With those job opportunities comes the need for industry and the education and training sector to work together to make our young people ‘job-ready’ when the employment opportunities arrive.

“Understanding what our future workforce will look like is one of our current challenges and, as a major employer in the state, Hydro Tasmania has a role to play in creating opportunities for the future workforce."

Mr Clark said the Hydro Tasmania had a strong history of offering apprenticeships and there were presently four positions available for trainees in the Derwent Valley, closing this Sunday. Click here for details.

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