Legislative Council Wednesday 25 March, 2020
Ms FORREST question to LEADER of the GOVERNMENT in the LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL, Mrs HISCUTT
As the contract between Hydro Tasmania of Bass Link is over half way through the 25 year term;
1. Has Hydro Tasmania assessed the financial and other costs and benefits to Hydro Tasmania of Bass Link since the commencement of Bass Link’s operation;
a. If so, please provide details of the costs and benefits of Bass Link to Hydro Tasmania and Tasmania;
b. If not, does Hydro Tasmania believe there is a benefit of this work being done to assist in informing the costs and benefits of the proposed Marinus interconnector;
2. Has the Government assessed the financial and other costs and benefits to Tasmania of Bass Link since the commencement of Bass Link’s operation;
a. If so, please provide details of the costs and benefits of Bass Link to Tasmania;
b. If not, does the Government believe there is a benefit of this work being done to assist in informing the costs and benefits of the proposed Marinus interconnector?
Q1 & 2
(a) Yes. The Electricity Expert Panel established by the Tasmanian Parliament in 2010 closely analysed the investment decision to proceed with Basslink. This also included a cost benefit analysis of Basslink’s initial period of operation. Hydro Tasmania also undertook analysis to inform the Expert Panel’s deliberations.
The Expert Panel Final Report vol 1 found that:
“Basslink has proven to be an effective and cost-efficient means of securing the State’s energy supply during times of drought. It has enabled Tasmanian demand to be met at a materially lower cost to Hydro Tasmania than would have been the case under alternative scenarios.” (page xiii)
Further, the Panel found that:
“With typical hydrological inflows, Hydro Tasmania has been able to more than meet its Basslink-related costs from opportunities that Basslink brings for trading electricity between Tasmania and Victoria” (page 234) Ibid.
(b) Project Marinus is currently undergoing a comprehensive cost benefit analysis under the Regulatory Investment Test for Transmission (RIT-T), a process overseen by the Australian Energy Regulator (AER). Project Marinus published its Project Assessment Draft Report (PADR) containing detailed cost-benefit analysis in early December 2019.