Significant new investment in regional Tasmania to deliver affordable and reliable energy to mainland

Joint media release with the Prime Minister the Hon Scott Morrison MP, Premier of Tasmania the Hon Peter Gutwein and Tasmanian Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction the Hon Guy Barnett

The Morrison Government is unlocking Tasmania’s renewable energy powerhouse potential and thousands of new jobs through a significant new Commonwealth investment in the Marinus Link electricity interconnector and Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation project. 

Marinus Link will export 1,500 MW of fast-start, reliable hydro-electricity from Battery of the Nation and across Tasmania into the other regions of the National Electricity Market (NEM) when it is most needed, delivering an expected $4.6 billion in benefits across the market.

The Government is investing a further $75 million, on top of a previous $66 million already invested, to progress the Marinus Link to a Final Investment Decision and through the next stages of planning, design and approvals.

The Government is also providing $65 million to fund upgrade works on the Tarraleah hydro power scheme redevelopment in Tasmania’s Central Highlands, the first of the Battery of the Nation projects.

These projects will deliver reliable increased renewable capacity to the NEM and brings the Commonwealth Government’s total commitment to $206 million.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said ensuring Australians have access to affordable reliable energy is part of our plan for a stronger future, and addressing cost of living pressures. 

“Marinus Link and Battery of the Nation are true nation building projects,” the Prime Minister said. 

“This will have enormous benefits for Tasmanians and Victorians, strengthening the economy, creating thousands of jobs, driving down power bills and easing cost of living pressures. More energy in the market means lower prices for everyone.

“Together these game-changing projects will generate thousands of jobs, particularly in regional Tasmania and regional Victoria, and unlock new investment in other renewable energy projects across Tasmania.

“Marinus Link and Battery of the Nation are what a Morrison Government is all about – taking real action to deliver job-creating projects, unlocking economic opportunities, securing our supply of essential services, and ensuring Australians have more money in their pockets to pay for the things they want and need.

“Today’s announcement is the result of the strong partnership I share with Premier Peter Gutwein and his team, and reflects our shared long term commitment to the Marinus Link and delivering for Tasmania.”

Premier Peter Gutwein said the historic agreement would deliver thousands of jobs for Tasmanians while cementing Tasmania’s renewable energy future. 

“This is a significant agreement for a clean energy highway, helping to reduce emissions, deliver reliable and affordable energy for consumers, and strengthen Tasmania’s economy through new jobs and investment.

“Tasmania is already a world-leader in renewable energy.  We can already generate 100 per cent of our energy from renewables with a target to double that by 2040.  

“Through Marinus Link, we will take this to the next level, helping to cut at least 140 million tonnes of CO2 emissions by 2050 – the equivalent of taking around a million cars off the road. During construction it will deliver 1400 direct and indirect jobs in Tasmania.

“But most importantly, for Tasmanians and Tasmanian families, it will put downward pressure on electricity prices, helping to ease the cost of living for Tasmanian families into the future.

“I would like to acknowledge the Morrison Government for its support and collaboration in this game-changing infrastructure, that will underpin Tasmania’s continued leadership in renewable energy and the benefits that has for Tasmania.”

Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor said Marinus and Battery of the Nation are key parts of our balanced plan to deliver a more reliable electricity supply, a more secure grid and lower prices.

“Support of critical reliable generation, like Battery of the Nation, and support of transmission projects that stack up for consumers, like Marinus Link, are key parts of our plan to ensure Australians continue to have the affordable, reliable power they deserve as we bring down our emissions,” Minister Taylor said.

“This is why, in addition to the $140 million in direct support we are providing today, we have also committed to a clear pathway for progressing underwriting of the Tarraleah Battery of the Nation Project through our Underwriting New Generation Investments program. 

“Labor have opposed the Underwriting New Generation Investments program, choosing to vote with the Greens in the Senate against this program. On-demand reliable power is critical to keep the lights on and prices low, and Labor’s actions show that all they stand for is a less reliable grid and higher prices.

“Labor’s vote is a vote against Battery of the Nation, against thousands of jobs and economic gains for Tasmanians, and a vote against new generation to power a Tasmanian hydrogen industry.”

Energy and Emissions Reductions Minister Guy Barnett said this was another important step in delivering this nationally significant infrastructure, as well as providing Tasmania with further energy supply and storage capacity – giving us even greater energy security.

“Marinus Link is expected to inject billions into the Tasmanian economy, create thousands of jobs, and provide broader renewable energy opportunities,” the Minister said.

“Its construction is expected to create 1400 new direct and indirect Tasmanian jobs alone, with a further 1400 in Victoria, unlocking projects such as Battery of the Nation which will enable thousands of jobs and opportunities across the supply chain.  

“Complementary to our green hydrogen plans, this will deliver the confidence in our renewable energy future that investors have been looking for, unlocking a further pipeline of projects in Tasmania.”

The Commonwealth and Tasmanian Governments will provide strong oversight of both projects through a Joint Ministerial Governance Committee and a Joint Committee of Senior Officials to monitor delivery milestones. Commonwealth nominees will also join the Marinus Link Pty Ltd Board to reflect our 50 per cent investment and partnership in the project.

A Final Investment Decision on the Marinus Link project is anticipated in 2024.

The project, which involves 250 kilometres of undersea cable and 90 kilometres of underground cable in Victoria, will deliver around 2,800 jobs at peak construction, and will stimulate investment in hydro and wind generation. Battery of the Nation is expected to deliver a further 1,120 jobs across Tasmania.

Media contact: 

Minister Taylor's office 02 6277 7120