Hydro Tasmania, Bureau of Meteorology partner to strengthen forecasting ability

Hydro Tasmania will be able to better harness and supply clean energy to Tasmania and Australia through a new partnership with the Bureau of Meteorology, according to a press release.

The strategic relationship agreement, which came into effect Dec. 20, will see the bureau’s local meteorologists provide Hydro Tasmania with regular, tailored weather information to support its operations.

Hydro Tasmania produces about 9,000 GWh of clean electricity from hydropower annually. The company’s system, which includes wind and gas, has a total capacity of more than 2,600 MW and includes 30 power stations and more than 50 major dams.

Hydro Tasmania Chief Executive Officer Steve Davy said accurate, tailored weather advice was crucial for Tasmania. “We’re proud to be Australia’s leading clean energy business and largest generator of renewable energy,” he said. “We rely on water to generate electricity, so understanding weather conditions, particularly rainfall, is very important for managing our storages. Three years ago we experienced the driest spring on record which, coupled with an unprecedented Basslink outage, led to the energy security challenge. We’ve learned from that experience. We now know that spring can be drier than previous historical records and we’ve taken steps to protect against extreme weather events and safeguard energy security.”

The benefits of the partnership apply not only to Tasmania — for example, when mainland states and territories are impacted by heat waves, additional insight regarding national weather conditions will allow Hydro Tasmania to consider how it can best support national electricity needs.

Under the partnership, the bureau’s climatologists will also provide specific advice around the long-term climate outlook and analysis of historical conditions.

This will complement other research partnerships Hydro Tasmania has, looking at a range of climate impacts, including likelihood of extreme drought and flood events occurring more often, future climate conditions in the Tasmanian highlands, effects of orography on local rainfall patterns and developing seasonal to multiyear (5 to 10 years) forecasts of potential climate outcomes for Tasmania.

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