Tasmania has got itself into a power generation mess and has been forced into expensive emergency measures to ‘keep the lights on’, reports PEI. For more background on the policies that led to this situation, see here.
The government of Tasmania believes a decision to use diesel power generation on a temporary basis can prevent power blackouts, despite present and ongoing difficulties with its power infrastructure.
The island’s Basslink subsea cable, a vital interconnection with Australia, has been under repair since breaking in December, while drought has reduced water for its hydroelectric power facilities to record lows.
The country has been forced to re-open an old gas-fired power plant in order to continue providing necessary electricity for inhabitants and Michael Connarty, senior adviser to energy minister Matthew Groom, acknowledged to Power Engineering International that conditions have ‘presented Tasmania with a difficult challenge that will require very careful management.’
“At this time the majority of the power supply is via hydro, gas and wind. As part of ensuring energy security, Hydro Tasmania is bringing in a further 20 MW of diesel generation to help the situation until autumn/ winter rains arrive.”
With lack of rainfall continuing unabated, pressure is growing on the Tasmanian Government to run an energy saving awareness campaign and a heater replacement program, with power use set to spike in the colder months.
See also: Tasmania’s energy scandal