Hydro Tasmania is a government business enterprise owned by the state government of Tasmania. It is Australia’s largest renewable energy generator and largest water manager.
Hydro Tasmania owns and operates 30 hydroelectric power stations, associated dams and pumping stations, three joint venture wind farms and one natural gas power station in Tasmania. The Hydro Tasmania group includes a retail energy business on mainland Australia (Momentum Energy), and an international consulting business specialising in hydropower development and water management (Entura).
The business has a proud history; it began operations in 1914 with work on its first power station, Waddamana, and is this year celebrating its centenary. Find out more about the centenary at http://www.hydro100.com.au/.
Engineers and scientists from Hydro Tasmania contributed to the development of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Authority, as well as overseeing a range of innovative activities. One such recent project is the world leading King Island Renewable Energy Integration Project (KIREIP), which has the potential to help alleviate energy poverty and reduce the reliance of remote and off-grid communities on costly diesel-based generation. Find out more about KIREIP at http://www.kingislandrenewableenergy.com.au/
As well as selling energy direct to the major industrial users of electricity within Tasmania, Hydro Tasmania participates in the National Electricity Market (NEM) in energy spot and contract trading. The day-to-day operation of the supply of electricity is managed from a central control room in Hobart, supported by a dedicated team of asset and infrastructure experts in the engineering and environmental fields.
Hydro Tasmania maintains a diverse team of engineers, scientists, accountants, economists, traders, supporting staff and managers who work together to manage the technical, operational, hydrological and financial aspects of the business.
A diverse range of engineering and scientific expertise
Hydro Tasmania employs engineers in a range of fields: civil engineers for transmission structures and dams; mechanical engineers for hydraulics; and electrical engineers in power systems, protection, supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), transmission, distribution and earthing. Engineers also work in project management, software development, energy trading and contract management. Engineers at Hydro Tasmania work in offices and in the field at Hydro Tasmania power stations, and consulting client locations.
Hydro Tasmania and Entura employ scientists across a broad range of disciplines including environmental and social scientists; environmental planners; hydrologists and hydrographers; aquatic, avian and land ecologists; water chemists; and geomorphologists. All of these technical disciplines contribute to the sustainable management of Hydro Tasmania’s assets and resources and to its stewardship of the land and water it manages. Through Entura we are sharing this unique 100 year owner/operator knowledge with our clients across Australia and internationally.
Major shifts in the electricity industry
There are major changes occurring in the electricity industry in Australia and across the world. Hydro Tasmania has been very clear in its support for a price on carbon and for Australia’s renewable energy target (RET). Chief Executive Officer Stephen Davy says the RET has stimulated $18 billion worth of investment across the country. In Hydro Tasmania’s submission to the current RET review, Mr Davy noted that the repeal of the RET “would almost certainly terminate any further investment in large-scale renewable energy projects, and put at risk the long-term viability of existing renewable energy assets”.
Despite the current national policy uncertainty, Hydro Tasmania sees a long-term future for its operations. Australia’s largest renewable energy generator will continue to employ professionals to conceive, implement and manage innovative solutions, just as it has done for the past 100 years.
Hydro Tasmania recently announced job losses across the business as part of fundamental structural change. Up to 100 positions are expected to be affected.
The business faces a challenging short-term future, which is the result of a range of factors including softening demand in the National Electricity Market, the effect of the expected repeal of the price on carbon, uncertainty about the future of the Renewable Energy Target, the impact of the energy reform process and the ongoing downturn in the consulting market.
The business restructure is critical to Hydro Tasmania’s growth and will help the business remain resilient in the face of challenges presented over the next few years.
It’s expected the reduction in staff numbers will be achieved through a combination of voluntary redundancies, natural attrition and compulsory redundancies.
– See more at: http://www.professionalsaustralia.org.au/groups/scientists/advocacy/?id=3221#sthash.7HL3BMnW.dpuf