Energy Minister Guy Barnett has hinted at plans aimed to reduce power prices for Tasmanians.
During a tour of the Trevallyn Power Station on Thursday the freshly-minted Minister reaffirmed his stance that the state government was putting Tasmanians first it its energy policy.
“While we continue to look to develop new generation opportunities, such as building new wind farms at Wild Cattle Hill and Granville Harbour, as well as pumped hydro opportunities, it’s vital that we continue to invest in our existing hydro generation,” Mr Barnett said.
“We have got a lot more work to do and we have a plan to do it to deliver the lowest possible prices.”
Mr Barnett said he will be conducting a review “over the coming months” to determine if further energy efficiencies could be found to lower prices, in addition to the works already planned by Hydro.
Over 10 years Hydro Tasmania will investing $1 billion to upgrade its facilities, which will increase generation by 250 GWh, enough additional generation to power over 30,000 Tasmanian homes.
It will also increase the lifespan of some power stations by an extra 40 years.
“We are looking at the full gamut of the important mechanism to ensure that the power prices for Tasmanians can be the lowest they can possible be,” he said.
“Cost of living is a top priority issues so I will be undertaking that review within government and with the relevant GBEs and we will ensure that every measure that is possible that can be taken will be taken.”
Hydro Tasmania chief executive Stephen Davy said the state was in a strong position moving into the summer months.
“We have had a very good winter for inflows and at the moment we are about 47.5 per cent full,” he said,.
“The prudent water management levels that were set by the Tasmanian Energy Security Taskforce required that we be at about 40 per cent full at the start of summer and we are very well placed to be there.”
Tasmania was not too far away from being completely self-sufficient according to Mr Daly.
“At the moment on island we are well over 90 per cent self-sufficient. The two new winds farms at Wild Cattle Hill and Granville Harbour will bring us very close to that 100 per cent,” he said.
“The few extra improvements that we get out of the 10-year asset management plan will get us there.”