Hydro Tasmania, the Australian state’s power authority, has approved the development of a 7.5MW hydro scheme that will harness the water usually dispersed at the Tasmania Parangana dam on the Mersey-Forth power system. The project will cost A$1.5M and is scheduled to be completed by February 2002.

Peter Rae, Hydro Tasmania chairman, said that the project would improve the sustainability of Mersey river system while, being attached to an existing scheme, would not run up against environmental or planning issues.

‘Mini hydro developments integrated into existing power schemes add significant value to the whole scheme,’ he added. ‘Being attached to an existing scheme means that there is little disturbance to the surrounding environment.’

The Parangana project will attract the Australian federal government’s green credits for new renewable energy. It is Hydro Tasmania’s second mini hydro development. A process of prequalifying prospective tenders has just been completed for the Butler’s Gorge mini scheme that was announced last year.