Duck Reach hydro future still cloudy
The future of the southern hemisphere’s first major hydro plant at Duck Reach in Tasmania is still undecided as Launceston City Council examines its sustainability.
Launceston based Arowana Energy approached the council last year with a plan to re-commission the Duck Reach hydro plant.
The council was responsive to the plan but needed to investigate whether they could operate the plant or whether it should be leased to a private operator.
Launceston City Council are looking at alternative ways of redeveloping the power station, after Hydro Tasmania rejected the project stating that it does not meet its investment criteria. Any new station would be housed within the historic building and some of the existing equipment is still usable.
Hydro Tasmania outlined three options for the redevelopment of the project ranging in cost from $4.11 million to $5.48 million and creating a capacity of up to 5.61 megawatts.
Launceston City Council general manager Robert Dobrzynski said “The council is still working through some of the details that we need to ascertain before we can proceed.” “The legal issues around water licenses are complex.”
“Our focus is on getting the detail right, not rushing into something we don’t understand,” he said.
Launceston-based Arowana said the red tape and council indecision were
holding up its proposal for the $5 million power station. “We’re in discussions with the council waiting for all the red tape to be ticked off,” Arowana’s director Rayner Page said. “It’s slow and frustrating.”
Launceston deputy major, Jeremy Ball said “There is extraordinary potential in this site.” Alderman Ball said there were obvious risks associated with the project, and he believed aldermen would approach the agenda item with due caution. ”You don’t use ratepayers’ money like a venture capitalist,” Alderman Ball said.
Duck Reach was decommissioned in 1955 following the construction of the Trevallyn Dam and power station. Launceston Council is keen to turn Duck Reach into a more comprehensive interpretation centre.
Duck Reach Restoration Committee chairman Shane Dennington was confident an agreement would be reached before Christmas.
This entry was posted onFriday, August 17th, 2012 at 11:59 am and is filed under Hydro, Hydro, Latest News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. Both comments and pings are currently closed.