THREE diesel generators have been installed at the site of the Bell Bay Power Station, in a bid to deal with the ongoing energy crisis.
The three 25MW dual fuel generators were installed at the power station site on Friday, as dam levels remain stable at 13.6 per cent.
Hydro Tasmania's Major Works manager Andrew Hickman said the generators will be online by the end of April, and fully operational by early May.
“This is the sixth diesel installation that we’ve got in the state, this one at Bell Bay is the biggest at about 75MW,” he said.
The total cost of all the generators, he said, was $44 million.
The generators are part of Hydro’s plan to install 200MW of diesel by the end of April.
He said at full output it would cost an additional $22 million to run for a month.
Mr Hickman said the level of rainfall and return of Basslink will determine how much generation comes from diesel power over the next few months.
“We’ve got a raft of Hydro power stations to very quickly ramp up to meet a demand for a cold snap, or whatever reason.”
Mr Hickman said there were other installations at Catagunya, George Town, Meadowbank, Port Latta and Que River.
He said there were no further plans to install additional diesel, but other options such as wind energy, gas supply and hydro would ensure Tasmania’s electricity demands are met.
Low inflows and an extended Basslink outage will depend on whether the generators are converted to gas for long-term use.
“It’s not something that you can do [switch to gas] within a matter of a few months, unlike the diesel which is a fast option,” he said.
He said he’d worked closely with the EPA and director of public health to ensure noise and emissions complied with industry standards.
The EPA had approved six of the five generator sites, he said, and Bell Bay was on track for approval.
The diesel power station was about managing long term storages, he said, and the current storage level would not cause issues for capacity.
He said it would escalate if dam levels hit about 8 or 9 per cent.
Hydro Tasmania spokesperson Samantha Meyer said Tasmania had received half average inflows over the past few months, but this was expected to change.
“If we continue to get half average inflows, which is low, that’s not what is expected.
“Then in that scenario storages will bottom out at 12 per cent and they’ll hold there.”
She said Hydro had not borrowed additional funds for the generators.
The units were shipped from Batam in Indonesia on a three-month lease.