Hydro Tasmania is a State-government enterprise that has been producing electricity from water-driven generators in Tasmania for nearly 100 years.
More than 80% of the water storage for Hydro Tasmania’s 29 power stations comes from two huge reservoirs – the great lake in the Midlands, Australia’s largest natural freshwater lake, and from lake gordon in the South-West Wilderness region of Tasmania. There are four other main catchment areas and Hydro Tasmania has more than 50 dams under its control.
drought is affecting hydro electricty supply in tasmania
The drought in Australia, which is the worst in more than 100 years, has had an effect on Tasmania.
In general, Tasmania has an abundance of fresh water and there are very few problems with the supply of water for domestic consumption.
However, the water level in the Great Lake is low at present and that has created challenges for Hydro Tasmania. Great Lake is the reservoir that supplies water for generating electricity at Poatina. Power generation from this station has been cut to reduce pressure on the Great Lake.
The generators connected to Lake Gordon and Lake Peddar have no such supply problems at present. Water storage levels in Tasmania are starting to rise slowly with winter rains.
There is an undersea electricity cable across Bass Strait connecting Tasmania with Australia’s national power grid. Tasmania is able to trade electricity – drawing from mainland Australia as necessary and selling energy when water flows increase in the winter months.
Tasmania also has back-up power supply through its gas-fired peaking plant and through the wind farm operated by Roaring 40s. Many homes and businesses are switching to natural gas for heating and the Launceston General Hospital, for example, is to use natural gas entirely for its power needs.
The power station at Gordon Dam. Water levels have dropped dramatically during the current drought.
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DID YOU KNOW?
About 60% of every glass of water drunk by the residents of southern Tasmania has already been used up to eight times to generate electricity in Hydro Tasmania’s power developments.
hydro tasmania dams have multiple uses
Hydro Tasmania lakes are stocked with trout and have boat ramps. They provide a magnificent State resource – for recreation, for power generation and, downstream, for water consumption.