Inter-Regional Collaboration

DATE: Thursday, 8 October 2020

TIME: 4:00pm – 5:15pm AEDT


Delivering low-cost, reliable and clean energy while stimulating jobs and investment in regional Tasmania and Victoria

Forecasting by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) suggests the National Electricity Market needs at least 8,000 MW of storage to back the 40,000 MW of renewables coming online by 2035. Renewable generation and storage technology is now the lowest-cost per mega-watt option to construct - which is good news for customers and the planet.

Marinus Link and Battery of the Nation will enable delivery of low-cost, reliable and clean generation and storage that provide benefits to the entire National Electricity Market – working to make the best use of Tasmania and Victoria’s renewable energy resources.

Collectively the projects can harness the latent storage potential of Tasmania’s existing hydro generators, by working with the increasing levels of renewable generation coming online in Tasmania and Victoria.  Tasmania’s existing hydro resources, and new pumped hydro schemes, can cost-effectively store excess renewable energy generated in Victoria and Tasmania, allowing it to be released when customers need it.

The projects will help to de carbonise the economy and stimulate jobs and investment in regional areas.  This includes significant direct investment and economic stimulus from Marinus Link in the Gippsland region of Victoria, as part of the region’s transition to new energy technologies, including an estimated 1,400 direct and indirect Jobs and 1.5 billion in economic stimulus to the Victorian economy.

Large infrastructure projects like Marinus Link and Battery of the Nation are needed to help drive the economy, offering a valuable opportunity to stimulate jobs and investment in these challenging times as the country recovers from the economic slow-down sparked by the global pandemic COVID-19.

Work on the design and approvals phase for Marinus Link is already seeing $ spent in local communities, with more to follow. The projects can create billions in economic growth, thousands of jobs, and be a catalyst of skills development in the energy industry across Tasmania and regional Victoria. They will stimulate a pipeline of investment in renewable energy and long-duration energy storage for generations to come.

In order to prepare for the huge number of renewable energy projects on the horizon, cross border co-operation and collaboration is critical as work gets underway to prepare and activate the workforce, plan-in local content and provide lasting benefits to communities that deliver a positive impact from this ‘green resources boom’.

Key learnings:

  • Understanding the critical role that Tasmania can play in the energy market transformation, working with resources in Vic, as part of the lowest cost solution for reliable, secure, clean energy.
  • Understanding the national and regional benefits from Marinus Link and BOTN – including as part of the nation’s recovery from the COVID impacts.
  • Understanding the need for deep storage for system resilience, managing future market reliability and potential challenges
  • Discuss the challenges and opportunities for inter-regional collaboration and cooperation as the renewable energy sector continues to grow and generate jobs and economic activity

Chair: Chris Arnott, CEO, Beyond Zero Emissions


The Hon Guy Barnett MP, Minister for Energy, Tasmania

Bess Clark, General Manager - Project Marinus, TasNetworks

Chris Gwynne, Program Director - Battery of the Nation, Hydro Tasmania

Tennant Reed, Head of Climate - Energy & Environment, Australian Industry Group (Ai Group)

Thor Anders Nummedal, Vice President - Technology and Development Division, Statnett SF & Project Director at North Sea Link (Norway-UK undersea interconnector)

Anna Skarbek, CEO, ClimateWorks Australia


Chris Arnott

CEO, Beyond Zero Emissions

Chris Arnott is an entrepreneur with a background in water and natural resource management. He has founded and grown a number of successful consulting firms, most recently Aither, and is a thought leader in management and leadership.

Arnott is a current Director of the Peter Cullen Trust, a former Deputy Chairman of the Victorian Catchment Management Council and former Chair of Engineers Without Borders Australia. 

The Hon Guy Barnett MP

Minister for Energy, Tasmania

Born and raised on a farm in northern Tasmania, Guy Barnett studied law (LLB, LLM) and worked in Melbourne and Washington, D.C. before he established and managed his award winning government and public affairs business. After almost a decade representing Tasmania in the Senate Guy was elected to the Tasmanian State Parliament in 2014. He was appointed to Cabinet in 2016 as Minister for the Resources and Minister for Building and Construction. In 2017 he was also appointed the Minister for Energy.

In 2018 Guy, became Minister for Primary Industries & Water and Minister for Veterans and in 2019 was again appointed as Minister for Resources. Guy has enthusiastically advocated for Tasmania as the renewable energy powerhouse of the nation. Guy is an author of several books including, ‘Our Heroes, Tasmania’s Victoria Cross Recipients’ and ‘Make a difference – a practical guide to lobbying’. Guy is married with 3 children, and is a sports enthusiast with a keen interest in trout fishing.

Bess Clark

General Manager - Project Marinus, TasNetworks

Bess is heading up TasNetworks’ Project Marinus which is developing a second Bass Strait electricity interconnector, ‘Marinus Link’. Further interconnection can harness Tasmanian and Victorian potential to deliver low-cost, reliable and clean power into Australia’s National Electricity Market (NEM). Project Marinus is currently in the Design and Approvals stage working towards a ‘shovel ready’ Marinus Link by the mid 2020s.

Chris Gwynne

Program Director - Battery of the Nation, Hydro Tasmania

Christopher manages the strategic development of the Battery of the Nation initiative, the blueprint for how Hydro Tasmania's renewable energy resources could be developed over coming decades. An electrical engineer by profession, Christopher has spent the last 15 years working across the full spectrum of Hydro Tasmania’s activities, from consulting on electrical transmission refurbishments to overseeing commercial operations and transactions such as the transfer of Aurora’s gas operations to Hydro Tasmania in 2013.

Tennant Reed

Head of Climate - Energy & Environment, Australian Industry Group (Ai Group)

Tennant Reed manages Climate, Energy and Environment Policy at the Australian Industry Group. Since 2008 he has been deeply involved in Australian climate and energy issues, advising Ai Group’s Leaders’ Group on Energy and Climate Policy, coordinating joint research and advocacy with wider energy stakeholders, facilitating the Australian Climate Roundtable and developing reports on energy prices, natural gas supply and business energy use. He has also advised Ai Group on a range of issues related to manufacturing and innovation. Previously he was an adviser in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, working on fiscal policy, stimulus and infrastructure. Tennant lives in Melbourne.

Thor Anders Nummedal 

Vice President - Technology and Development Division, Statnett SF

Project Director, North Sea Link (Norway-UK undersea interconnector)

Thor is Vice President, Technology and Development Division at Statnett SF based in Oslo, Norway and is Project Director for the North Sea Link a 720 km, 1400 MW, UK-Norway Interconnector under construction and scheduled to commence operation in 2021. Thor has extensive experience in developing and executing interconnector projects and knowledge of the Nordic and European power systems including the Norwegian hydropower system.

Anna Skarbek

CEO, ClimateWorks Australia

Anna Skarbek is the CEO of ClimateWorks Australia, working to develop the low carbon economy. A former banker and green policy adviser, Anna has led ClimateWorks since its creation in 2009, analysing emissions reduction opportunities and partnering with business and government to unblock barriers to their implementation.


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