Inter-Regional Collaboration

DURATION

1 hour and 30 minutes

SESSION DESCRIPTION

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

SPEAKERS

MINISTERIAL ADDRESS

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.

CHAIR

Benjamin White

Leader Stakeholder and Environmental Services, Project Marinus

Benjamin White joined TasNetworks in March 2018 as Head of Stakeholder Relations, Community, Environment & Planning for Project Marinus, which seeks to unlock Tasmania’s potential in supporting Australia’s objective of delivering affordable, reliable and clean energy. He brings extensive senior government leadership experience in policy, strategy, investment attraction, supply chain activation and engagement covering renewable energy, water and natural resource management.

Benjamin has led a number of significant and innovative reform projects for government, in partnership with industry sectors, business and the community, including delivery of the Victorian Government's $146 million Renewable Energy Action Plan (launched by Vice-President Al Gore) – a project that has transformed Victoria's energy future to be smarter, cleaner and more customer-focused. He was also a key part of the leadership team that facilitated the largest investment in renewables and in new energy technologies by any Victorian Government. Benjamin is renowned for his entrepreneurial and collaborative approach to public sector business. He sits on the Board of the Australian Energy Foundation as a non-executive Director

PANELLISTS

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.

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.

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.

Michael Lord

Research Lead, Beyond Zero Emissions

Michael is the author of Beyond Zero Emissions “ Million Jobs plan” – an economic stimulus package to boost employment and reduce emissions. Michael was previously Head of Research at Beyond Zero Emissions. He was lead author of BZE’s Electrifying Industry report showing the benefits to manufacturers of switching from fossil fuels to renewable electricity.

Michael also wrote Rethinking Cement – the world’s first report to show how to eliminate emissions from the cement sector, as well as ‘The 10 Gigawatt Vision – How renewable energy can power jobs and investment in the Northern Territory’. Michael also works at the Energy Transition Hub at the University of Melbourne where he published ‘Mining to making: Australia’s Future in Zero Emissions Metal’.

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