The proposed 1.5 GW Marinus Link project, which would connect Tasmania and Victoria via an undersea electricity interconnector, is set to come under renewed scrutiny from the Commonwealth and Victorian governments.
Marinus Link general manager Bess Clark said submissions for project assessment have been made under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act and the Victorian Environmental Effects Act.
Federal environment minister Sussan Ley and Victoria’s planning minister Richard Wynne will now review the applications and decide if further environmental assessments are required before the project can go ahead.
“Marinus Link is committed to sustainable development, and is following robust environmental, land-use planning and cultural heritage assessment standards to minimise impacts that the project may create,” Clark said.
“We understand the importance of preserving the natural environment and protecting other values that communities have.”
While the submissions have been lodged with the federal and Victorian governments, the process for assessing Tasmanian environmental and planning matters is yet to be determined.
The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and the federal government have declared Marinus Link a national priority project with reports revealing it would provide benefits across the entire National Electricity Market (NEM) through grid stability and downward pressure on wholesale electricity prices.
Set to be the second energy interconnector between Tasmania and the Australian mainland, the project includes about 255 kilometres of undersea high voltage direct current (HVDC) cable and approximately 90km of underground HVDC cable. It will also include converter stations in Tasmania and Victoria and approximately 220km of high voltage alternating current (HVAC) transmission network developments in north west Tasmania.
Clark said the project will help provide secure, reliable and affordable power to consumers well beyond the borders of Tasmania and Victoria.
“Marinus Link will unlock Tasmania’s abundant, low-cost wind resources, existing hydro and new pumped hydro storage facilities to provide low-cost, reliable and on-demand clean energy to Australian homes and businesses across the NEM,” she said.
“From Cairns to Hobart, millions of Australian households and businesses will be better off with a future energy grid with Marinus Link, compared to a future grid without it.
“Along with downward pressure on prices and a more reliable grid, Marinus Link will cut emissions, deliver 2,800 direct and indirect jobs in both Tasmania and Victoria, and unlock a pipeline of future renewable energy development, with thousands more jobs.”
The current target date for commissioning and commercial operation of the first 750 MW stage of the project is 2027-28, with the commissioning and commercial operation of the second 750 MW stage currently scheduled for 2029-30.
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