Testing has begun on the Basslink transmission project that will connect Tasmania with the Australian mainland at Victoria.

The testing will see power steadily ramped up to capacity in what is currently the world’s longest subsea HVDC link at 290 km.

Developers National Grid will carry out two month of testing as power is ramped for 100 MW to maximum capacity of 600 MW. The link is expected to be operational by April 2006 following delays caused by, among other things, damage to transformers being shipped from Germany that were caught in the rough seas of the Great Australian Bight. The link will allow power trade between the hydroelectricity-rich Tasmania and the power-starved mainland.