Hydro Tasmania’s water storages remain lower than the same time last year, despite recent rains in the North West and North East regions of Tasmania. This low storage is likely to result in significant pressure on the Australian state’s power system in early 2006.

In the past week, water levels have only risen by .8% with the overall storage situation being 38.8% full compared to 45.1% last year.

‘The demand for energy in Tasmania is growing every year and inflows into our storages have been lower than average, particularly in the Great Lake and Lake Gordon, which are the lifeblood of the power system,’ said Hydro Tasmania’s Group Manager Production, Simon Krohn. ‘While our smaller Northern Headwaters lakes have risen in recent weeks, these only provide short term storage. We need above average falls in the next few months to see us through the next summer and autumn until Basslink connects the state to the National Electricity Market.

‘This is why the decision to buy three gas turbines to be installed at the Bell Bay Power station was crucial,’ Krohn added. ‘They will provide 105MW of supplementary generation from early 2006 and help protect the system in the event of ongoing low rainfall in the crucial catchment areas on the West Coast and in the Central Highlands.’