Hydro Tasmania `flat out'

BASSLINK has been running ``absolutely flat out'' this week as Hydro Tasmania ramped up its export of power to help Victoria meet record demand caused by the heatwave.

On Tuesday and Wednesday when temperatures in Melbourne soared to the 40s more than a third of Hydro's generated supply was exported.

Pitt and Sherry energy strategies principal consultant Dr Hugh Saddler had been tracking energy emissions this week and said Basslink had been going ``absolutely flat out'' all day on Wednesday.

Dr Saddler said power of this volume was not usually exported, and was often sent for just short periods of time when demand was high.

On Wednesday and Thursday the Hydro system had been generating 1500 megawatts from midday to mid-evening, supplying all the needs of Tasmania plus sending supply to the mainland. 

``I'd say it's been quite a profitable few days for Hydro,'' Dr Saddler said.

A spokesman for Hydro Tasmania said revenue expectations had been met and was on track to make a strong profit result.

Victoria had been regularly exceeding 10,000 megawatts during the heatwave, a level that has only been reached four other times historically, and Tasmania provided 5 per cent of the demand. 

This month Hydro exported 26 per cent of generated supply, and only imported a minimal amount.

Basslink has the capacity to export around 550 megawatts of power daily, but has to reduce this capacity in very hot weather. 

Dr Saddler said the Tamar Valley power station had also been operating throughout the week, generating 200 megawatts of power.

Storage levels for Tasmania would not be affected by the increased generation.

``While we have been generating hard to help Victoria meet demand, this doesn't create any capacity or demand issues for Tasmania,'' a Hydro spokesman said.


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