Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Economy

BASSLINK wrap: ‘Interconnector fault pinpointed’

*Pic: Peter: ‘Took this years ago, in Hydro’s golden age … they’d be lucky to get a Malvern Star these days …’

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Satire: Ted Mead

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Basslink has successfully pinpointed the fault location on the interconnector and removed it from the cable on Easter Sunday.

The fault point was identified at 90.467km from the Tasmanian coastline. The cause of the fault is yet to be determined, subject to forensic testing.

“The analysis process, which saw us cut the cable 1150m from the fault, has been encouraging,” said Basslink CEO Malcolm Eccles.

“This represents a difference of only 0.4% of Basslink’s entire cable length, which is a great result and vindicates the extent of testing and analysis undertaken.

“The team has worked hard over the last few days clearing around 63 tonnes of cable to ensure it does not interfere with the later phases of repair operations. We have also conducted extensive tests to confirm the removal of the fault and that the cable is ready for jointing, with both ends of the cable now capped and on the seabed,” said Eccles.

The initial findings have revealed the degree of water ingress into the cable through the fault has resulted in more damaged cable that needs to be replaced, which will see a third joint required on the cable.

In simple terms, water got in and damaged the cable – this now needs to beremoved.

Consequently, an additional mobilisation phase is required in Geelong to restock the vessel with cable to complete the jointing phase to connect the additional replacement cable.

While every effort is being made to return the interconnector to service as soon as possible, Basslink has advised key stakeholders to prepare for a mid-June return to service date, to take into account likely contingencies such as poor weather. The jointing works are highly susceptible to weather conditions as each joint will require a continuous clear weather period to allow it to be safely completed.

The cable repair vessel the Ile de Ré is about to return to Geelong, where it will spend the next 10 days mobilising for the next phase which involves joining the two new pieces of cable to the
interconnector to replace the removed section.

During this time, Basslink will reconfigure the vessel’s layout, load around 100 tonnes of spare cable and change a number of key personnel, which includes additional cable jointing expertise to the repair team.

In the meantime, Basslink will continue to update its key stakeholders, Hydro Tasmania and the Tasmanian Government, of the repair activities on a regular basis. A Hydro Tasmania observer appointed by the State continues to be present on the Ile de Ré at all times when at sea.

About Basslink www.basslink.com.au:

The Basslink Interconnector enhances security of supply on both sides of Bass Strait; protecting Tasmania against the risk of drought-constrained energy shortages while providing Victoria and southern states with secure renewable energy during times of peak demand. The Basslink Interconnector is the world’s second longest undersea electricity cable. Owned by Keppel Infrastructure Trust, Basslink delivers excellence in the areas of safety, reliability and performance.

Basslink has a number of fibre optic assets which carry high -speed telecommunication traffic. Basslink Telecoms offers a range of wholesale transmission services between Tasmania and Victoria.

Get with the WIDGET HERE, which reveals Tassie’s energy use

• Luigi in Comments: It certainly looks like those outer binding strands have been damaged by something. A supertrawler, perchance? … The Minister also announced the release of the draft script for the forthcoming film “Die Hard Won’t It Ever End?” starring Bruce Willis (“Die Hard, Die Hard 2, Die Hard With a Vengeance”) based on the cock up. …

Rosalie Woodruff in Media HERE … Minister Groom boxed himself into a corner months ago by refusing to contemplate power rationing, well before knowing how the situation was going to unfold. As winter approaches, it’s time to drop the weasel words and be honest with Tasmanians about what to expect, and what they can do to help themselves.

WEDNESDAY March 30 …

Tasmania relying on 150 diesel generators for electricity until June Having just 14 per cent battery left on your smartphone can be quite stressful, right? Now imagine you smartphone is the state of Tasmania. That’s pretty much the situation right now on the Apple Isle, which has just 14 per cent capacity in its hydro electric dams and its main supply cable wiped out by a mystery fault. Tasmanians haven’t had any brownouts yet, but the state is now relying on 150 diesel generators and a decommissioned power plant to keep electricity supplies up until the winter rains arrive to replenish water levels. That’s right, in 2016 an entire Australian state is relying on emergency generators …

An option for Tassie? The Largest Floating Solar Farm In Europe. Europe’s largest floating solar farm will be able to generate enough power to provide clean water for thousands of people in southern England, HERE.

TT MEDIA HERE where there are permanent links to what the Pollies say …

• Luigi in Comments: At last!! Three months after BassLink was fried – or at least par-boiled – Matthew Groom announces some tepid energy saving measures. One needs to go to the Aurora website to find them: HERE It’s far too little, too late. This should have happened as soon as the connector went off line, not over three months later once our pathetic leaders have worked out that they’ve screwed it up big time. And the steps the public should take need to be up-front in the newspaper, TV and radio ads themselves – not just in the fine print of a PR blurb for what a great job the Hydro is doing. And they’re not doing a great job at all. The rent-a-diesels are now producing 37MW – still miles short of the 100MW we were promised by the end of March. So we continue to draw down the dams way too fast as our consumption heads upwards with the onset of cold nights. And still no rain.

• Anne in Comments: You haven’t been paying sufficient attention #24. The Greens, who you are always so bizarrely swift to denigrate and assign blame for all the state’s woes, have been suggesting for years that both state and federal governments should invest far more in renewable energy technologies. That their sensible, practical advice has been consistently ignored by the major parties – and not exactly championed by the mainstream media either – is an indictment on both, and calls into question their ability to govern responsibly …

• Mike Bolan in Comments: Cripes! The idea of the same people who’ve produced so many messes and disasters having nuclear technology is terrifying. I’d be worried that we’d all be glowing at night. Our ‘need’ for so much power is created by our cargo cult approach to industry – give them what they need at taxpayer expense and they’ll give us jobs. Sadly that policy weakens our resolve to invest in Tasmanians, has cost us a fortune in subsidies and requires 60% of our total power. If we stopped with the idiotic give aways (e.g. see forestry), invested in Tasmanians and created competitive infrastructures (health, roads, education etc) then people would want to come here and we could operate on hydro and local based wind/solar.

The parlous state of Lake Gordon, ABC HERE

• Download Energy Adequacy Assessment …
ENERGY_ADEQUACY_ASSESSMENT_BASSLINK_OUTAGE_Jan_2016.pdf

THE BASSLINK SAGA on Tasmanian Times …

BASSLINK: Graph of the Day, Tasmania’s switch back to fossil fuels

BASSLINK wrap: Libs secretly migrated own Internet services off Basslink. Will, Entura, Board …

Basslink’s wrong cut … ?

What can you expect from a Hydro Board with five business/finance backgrounds and a single, solitary engineer … ?

Nero fiddled, Basslink fried, includes an embedded WIDGET showing Tassie’s energy use of Hydro, Wind, Gas, Solar, Liquid Fuel …

John Lawrence’s Basslink under water

Basslink Update

Garry Stannus’ Tasmania’s Energy Crisis

Bad News Trainwreck for Good News Matthew

Bad News Trainwreck for Good News Will

Chris Harries’ Basslink: A short summary of risks

Hydro, Basslink: Is it true?

Read for yourself: Liberal energy promises … and solar reality …

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]
49 Comments

49 Comments

  1. TGC

    April 6, 2016 at 12:45 am

    How fortunate are that the Greens’ push for electric buses and cars hasn’t gone anywhere,

  2. John Powell

    April 5, 2016 at 1:05 am

    Knowing the operators at Temco, Nyrstar, Norkse Skog etc they would certainly have an arrangement where their entire business operations (loss thereof) would be covered by the State for their reduction in power usage.

    An interesting RFI request I suspect and certainly a question that Minister Groom should be asked at the Senate Inquiry.

    Treasurer Gutwein’s surplus has gone for all money and as Shareholding Minister he must also be held accountable.

  3. Greg of Bell Bay

    April 5, 2016 at 12:25 am

    Re 45 Luigi the Hydro, Groom and Green are all dodging these questions. How much is the Government paying these companies not to use the contracted power. If at what is suggested that they pay between 3 and 4c for power is the Government paying more than this to buy the power back plus the cost of lost production? TEMCO are currently about to shut another furnace of to take advantage of this buy back as it is more profitable for them than to produce their product. So much for TEMCO cutting back on power to be a good corporate citizen? The opposition leader Bryan Green should be seeking an investigation into this instead of all the grandstanding he is doing at the moment. Remember it was Labor under Lara Giddings and Bryan Green who where in charge of the last power contract agreement. I doubt very much that Bryan Green will put his hand up for an investigation?

  4. Simon Warriner

    April 4, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    re 43, Su, what technology was used at Fukashima is hardly the point. It was used, evne though it was not up to scratch, the regulatory regime failed comprehensively and the planet is the poorer for it.

    Given that the neolib agenda is all about taking offers from whomever puts up the best political party donation or has access to the dirtiest secrets we can expect the public good and planetary health aspects to be placed well down the list of concerns of the trans-global corporate that gets to build and run any future nuclear power station in this country, regardless of the platitudes that fall of of politicians mouths.

    Given the time span estimates that are rattling around the Fukashima cluster fuck I suggest that even contemplating bothering with the task of estimating the “true” costs of decommisioning and clean up would count as an admission of complete stupidity.

    How do you put a price on the sort of disruption that disaster has caused the removed residents and businesses, or the pollution that has seeped into our oceans?

    There are some things best left in their box, and nuclear energy is well towards the top of the list. We ain’t smart enough to do it properly.

  5. Luigi

    April 4, 2016 at 7:46 pm

    How much exactly do we make out of the big multi-national sponges? States exist on GST revenue these days, but no GST is earnt on exports. Export businesses just get to deduct the GST on their taxed inputs. Are any royalties paid to the state? I guess extractive industries like Savage River might, but who else? And what exactly is the employment figure for each of them?

    And the biggy: how much are we paying them not to take electricity right now? I heard the CEO of The Hydro duck that question on ABC Mornings today.

  6. Mike Bolan

    April 4, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    Cripes! The idea of the same people who’ve produced so many messes and disasters having nuclear technology is terrifying. I’d be worried that we’d all be glowing at night.

    Our ‘need’ for so much power is created by our cargo cult approach to industry – give them what they need at taxpayer expense and they’ll give us jobs.

    Sadly that policy weakens our resolve to invest in Tasmanians, has cost us a fortune in subsidies and requires 60% of our total power.

    If we stopped with the idiotic give aways (e.g. see forestry), invested in Tasmanians and created competitive infrastructures (health, roads, education etc) then people would want to come here and we could operate on hydro and local based wind/solar.

  7. Su Chan

    April 4, 2016 at 11:43 am

    Thanks Ed! I shall try to be more concise and ‘spam’ less links. It’s tough as my time on reddit has ingrained a need to cite every point presented with hard evidence. 😛

    The two most important links from my post which I think have not already been quoted in TT were:
    Hydro Energy Supply Plan
    http://www.hydro.com.au/energy/energy-supply-situation-and-response

    Australian Energy Regulator Regional Seasonal Peak Demand
    http://www.aer.gov.au/industry-information/industry-statistics/wholesale-statistics/seasonal-peak-demand-region

    re #42
    Simon, you’re forgetting that Fukushima was built with outdated 70’s era technology with known problems (no fail-safe SCRAM, requires cooling), that the owner was known to be skimping on safety standards, and that it was built to withstand most earthquakes and tsunamis. That event was twice as devastating as it was built for. Not much in the region on the coast withstood it either.

    I’d suggest that if Australia built nuclear power plants, our safety standards would be an order of magnitude higher. I’m not sure I believe IEA claims that nuclear is an economic low-carbon power source seeing as we still don’t know what the true costs of decommissioning and cleanup are.

  8. Simon Warriner

    April 4, 2016 at 12:42 am

    re 36, to continue with the theme:

    Nuclear is a wonderful fuel, if you don’t care about the waste problem or the potential for an almighty cock up. Fukashima, latest estimate for the finish of the cleanup, 2035. (if there are no more tsunami events.) Cost? unknown. Environmental damage? who cares.

    Coal is a wonderful fuel, if you ignore the risks of burning millions of years of stored sunlight energy into the atmosphere in a period of time many orders of magnitude shorter than the time taken to accumulate it. Of course those risks are irrelevant if you own the mine and make enough to donate shitloads of money to any political party that needs convincing to ignore the common good.

    TGC is an obvious and enthusiastic support of the neoliberal ideology which is all about privatising the profits and socialising the costs. Of course such dangerous technologies would be a magnet for those supporting such stupid ideologies.

  9. Su Chan

    April 4, 2016 at 12:27 am

    Ben #16, that article is a bit salty, but essentially correct. As I write this hydro is generating 674MW of 1258MW total. While wind had a good run last week, it is not unusual for hydro be called on to supply 700-900MW recently, despite emergency generation
    (link: NEM Watch widget)

    Hydro have got 48MW of gensets. 100MW was promised in tranche 1, with another 100MW in tranche 2 (est. May)
    (link: hydro energy storage plan)

    I don’t know how 200MW is supposed to offset 500-900MW of demand should the dams fail. even if Basslink is repaired, there is no guarantee it will return to service at 100% capacity. Experience around the world says it will not.

    Even if it did 478+200+386(upgraded TVPS) that might _just_ meet demand right now of ~1100MW. Throw in some degradation, plant maintenance/repairs and downtime, and things start to look pretty bleak.

    Now note 1800MW peak demand quoted over winter, which is partly from the 1500MW shown in historical chart (Fig. 4 Pg. 8) in Hydro’s own Energy Supply Plan, you can see it for yourself here.
    (link: hydro energy storage plan update)

    You can see ~1800MW regular peak demand data here (every Winter since recording, 10 years worth)
    (link: AER gov regional usage data)

    So, on what we have been told, unless it rains heavily, we cannot even hope to meet current demand, let alone the thick end of 2000MW. I think the article is pretty concise and accurate myself.

    (Sorry for late reply- I get a lot of “you are not authorised to post” errors from TT for some reason. Aaahh… I’m not allowed to post links. Redacted them all, sorry, you’re going to have to use Dr Google.)

    Ed: The general rules for posting are: No more than 5000 characters per comment (if longer split it in two); no more than two urls (thinks you are spam); sometimes the technol simply has a hissyfit, in which case send to editor@oldtt.pixelkey.biz

  10. Richard Kopf

    April 4, 2016 at 12:15 am

    #36 I agree. Tasmania can’t even keep water wheels running. Nuclear? Bigger disaster but at least the Government would go out with a bang, not a whimper!

  11. Luigi

    April 3, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    And water energy levels at 13.6% and still falling.

  12. Luigi

    April 3, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    The rent-a-diesels are now producing about 52MW of power. That’s just over half way to last month’s 100MW target and 26% of the total 200MW target at the end of this month.

  13. Artemisia

    April 3, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    #36 – It’s not just the Greens who have issues with your “abundant” and “fantastic” energy alternatives, Trevor – most thinking people do……”thinking” being the operative word here. While coal and nuclear may be “abundant” and “fantastic”, the other side of the coin with these options must be looked at in balance – both are fraught with insoluble problems – coal contributing so much to atmospheric damage and nuclear with a whole raft of very serious problems, from getting rid of waste to the devastating consequences of accidents. No thanks to both!

    A sensible government would have encouraged the uptake of rooftop solar, not only for households, but for businesses. It would have offered the same kind of support for wind farm establishment as it does to industries that dig holes in the ground. It would have had a wave-powered power generation plant established by now. I think hydro, wind, solar and wave would cover every base without the need for coal or nuclear (sometimes, I’ve noticed, pronounced “new killer” in the media – how appropriate!)

  14. TGC

    April 3, 2016 at 12:34 am

    #35 Hydro is a first rate ‘renewable energy option- unless it doesn’t rain.
    Solar is a useful energy option- unless the sun don’t shine.
    Wind is a nice complementary energy option- so long as its windy,
    Coal is an abundant energy option- but the Greens hate it.
    Nuclear is a fantastic energy option- but the Greens won’t have a bar of that.
    Most other ‘options’ are just playthings for thrill seekers.

  15. Anne

    April 2, 2016 at 11:54 am

    You haven’t been paying sufficient attention #24 the Greens, who you are always so bizarrely swift to denigrate and assign blame for all the state’s woes, have been suggesting for years that both state and federal governments should invest far more in renewable energy technologies. That their sensible, practical advice has been consistently ignored by the major parties – and not exactly championed by the mainstream media either – is an indictment on both, and calls into question their ability to govern responsibly.

    Tasmania could have easily avoided this deepening energy crisis if successive state governments had followed this path. We are so well placed to take maximum advantage of our natural resources. Not just water but also wind, solar and wave, as well as exploring the newer ones such as bio energy that has been mentioned on this thread. Instead we’ve been obliged to endure the backward stupidity of both Labor and Liberal governments, both of whom have stubbornly refused to recognise the potential Tasmania has for being a world leader in renewable energy technologies, a situation that would at a stroke solve our energy vulnerabilities, and our unemployment problems.

    The level of incompetence on display by our current Liberal state government is breath-taking. While the desperate and far from reassuring hope being expressed by Groom, Hodgman et al that it will rain soon, all our energy problems will therefore be solved, and life can return to normal, is just more proof they don’t have the first clue, and are hopelessly out of their depth.

  16. Luigi

    April 1, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    At last!! Three months after BassLink was fried – or at least par-boiled – Matthew Groom announces some tepid energy saving measures. One needs to go to the Aurora website to find them: http://www.auroraenergy.com.au/help-and-advice/energy-saving-hints-tips

    It’s far too little, too late. This should have happened as soon as the connector went off line, not over three months later once our pathetic leaders have worked out that they’ve screwed it up big time.

    And the steps the public should take need to be up-front in the newspaper, TV and radio ads themselves – not just in the fine print of a PR blurb for what a great job the Hydro is doing.

    And they’re not doing a great job at all. The rent-a-diesels are now producing 37MW – still miles short of the 100MW we were promised by the end of March. So we continue to draw down the dams way too fast as our consumption heads upwards with the onset of cold nights.

    And still no rain.

  17. I Made a Bad Move

    March 31, 2016 at 10:20 pm

    The government sanctioned Derwent estuary pollution, the failed plantation investment schemes, the Bell Bay pulp mill farce, the pulping of specialty timber, and now the electricity prices and supply debacle.

    Tassie really is looking like the idiot state.

  18. Clive Stott

    March 31, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    Basslink Interconnector Fault – Tourism is our saviour … !

    This was the scene at our major airports this morning … Planes everywhere!

    Tourists are flocking in to see our record low water levels and to gain more sleep with our annoying city lights turned down of a night.

    The airline companies are glad to help out in return for full bookings. They have agreed to hook up their planes to the hydro grid whilst they are parked at the terminal.

    We even have the capacity to bring in some more diesel generator sets. Two can be seen sitting on the tarmac.

    As there aren’t as many people flying out planes are taking longer to fill seats so we can give your system quite a boost whilst we are here, said one spokesman.

    Every little bit of extra power helps, he said. There are just a few small issues with the differing electrical frequencies and voltage. This all happened so quickly your guys didn’t have time to synchronise things.

    Our aircraft hertz are different to your mains hertz so people should be aware of this. Watch your toast in the toaster it could cook quicker than normal, lamps might burn brighter but that is better than no lights at all.

    The planes will keep coming as long as the water holds out to decontaminate them, but that is another problem one captain said.

  19. Dax

    March 31, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    Yep, great finding the fault in the cable and when it’s fixed, things will be back to normal, ha ha.

    It’s perfectly obvious the heavy use of the cable contributed to the fault, as it would get extremely hot pushing that amount of energy through the cables distance and underwater pressure. Which bring us to only one conclusion, once fixed it will fail again because all our energy will be coming through the cable and we will be back to square one, as usual. So it will be back to diesel generators at $11 million a month, now that’s excellent economics and future thinking from our gloriously insane leaders. Then don’t forget the millions a month they pay for this stupid and future useless cable, whilst services and future needed infrastructure, is left to fade away. But corporate profit growth is much more important than a viable safe future, isn’t it.

    Next step will be shut the door before you leave the state as it’s perfectly obvious, we have complete fools running the state and you all vote for them, simply hilarious. But they do have a plan to build biomass generators, which will satisfy their political donating masters, hell bent on burning the state out as fast as possible.

    Of course they could energy proof the state with solar on every building and local grid systems backed up by lithium storage, which would cost less than $20 million done right. Especially if we developed our own solar energy industries with our lithium supplies and panels manufacturing. It would slave lots of problems and make our little island energy safe, as well as aid employment.

    But you can be sure forward logical and lateral thinking is at the opposite end of the agenda for our political system, as it wouldn’t increase the profit margins of donating companies and we couldn’t have that could we. So keep voting for your demise, won’t be long into winter before population areas begin having black or brownouts and then no power at all at times.

    Everyone is conveniently forgetting over the last 2 decades, our rain fall has been dropping dramatically and will not refill the dams for years, if ever at the rate of decline. Unless we have a huge cyclone like downpour and that’s not on the cards because to attract rain, you need lots of trees and under the guidance of our brilliant leaders and voting public, she’ll be right sticking with the status quo of denuding the state and importing more people. The direction and actions of our politicians, sure is sound logic, if you’re a brain dead fool.

  20. tony lynch

    March 31, 2016 at 11:31 am

    Right #24. Deep thinking. Keep it up.

  21. Clive Stott

    March 31, 2016 at 10:37 am

    29th November 2002
    Pirelli (now Prysmian) wins Basslink contract:
    http://www.pirelli.com/corporate/en/press/2002/11/29/pirelli-awarded-basslink-contract/

    Australia and Tasmania are two countries! This is why Basslink failed; different currencies, different rail gauge.

    27th May 2004
    http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/05/26/1085461833048.html?from=storylhs

    If it took three lengths of cable to span the 295km then one might think the cable puncture (90.467km from the Tasmanian coastline) might be at a joint, ie the most likely spot.
    The photo of the fault is not showing at an on-board joint.

    Pete in #12 you mentioned conductor size. I can see 400kv copper submarine is 1500mm2

    Thanks Carol #8, that is what it looks like, internal rupture, in-house joint?

    Cloudy day up Lonny way yesterday. Not much rooftop power being generated.

  22. Jon Sumby

    March 31, 2016 at 12:25 am

    Tasmanian energy crisis:
    Lake Gordon dam level fall captured in dramatic video

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-31/lake-gordon-dam-level-fall-captured-in-dramatic-video/7289020

  23. Luigi

    March 30, 2016 at 11:12 pm

    In #3 I took an early guess that the Hydro would have only 20MW of diesel generation up and running at the end of March (today), out of the 100MW it had promised in the Energy Supply Plan. I was wrong. The correct figure is 30MW.

  24. Carol Rea

    March 30, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    #16 Ben Thanks for identifying all the points that I was having trouble with in the SMH article. I hoped that someone would.

  25. William Boeder

    March 30, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    #10. Clive thank you for the link given with your comment at #10 this has me better understand the physics of dark intrusion and the faster than speed of light dynamics associated, furthermore it dismisses the theory that human sight travels at the same speed as does the speed of light.
    If this were the case then a great many ocular/light collisions would have been recorded in journals going back to when light had first began to occupy the minds of the ancient Greek mathematicians. For those still in doubt let me offer as follows:
    The speed at which energy or signals travel down a cable is actually the speed of the electromagnetic wave, not the movement of electrons as in light. Electromagnetic wave propagation is fast and depends on the dielectric constant of the material. In a vacuum the wave travels at the speed of light and almost that same speed as does light.
    The serious mathematicians attending this forum should now be able to establish the speed of the Bass-link electricity flowing to or from the Victoria Bass-link point of connection on the journey to or fro of Tasmania’s connection point.
    During the current non-current circumstances one can easily believe that this State’s Treasurer Peter Gutwein, as well as his calculating colleague minister Mathew Groom, can safely announce the speed currency of the Bass-link current currently delivering said current current.

  26. TGC

    March 30, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    Tasmania is fortunate in having the Greens and Labor both rubbing their hands together in anguish over the energy ‘crisis. No solutions- but lots of anxiety.
    That should do us.

  27. phill Parsons

    March 30, 2016 at 10:16 am

    I hope the cable repairers have allowed time for weather delays.

    Luckily Will can delay an election in an attempt to avoid being associated with complete incompetence in planning an energy future.

  28. Richard Kopf

    March 30, 2016 at 12:43 am

    #19 At $2.5 Million per Kilometre, I cant see them throwing much cable away just to save one more join, can you?

  29. Mike Adams

    March 29, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    With the end of daylight saving in April, and the consequent greater use of domestic and commercial power for lighting, plus street lighting, it may have dawned on someone that postponing it for a while may save a few kilowatts…

  30. Frank Strie, Terra-Preta Developments

    March 29, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    As a reminder and for proper consideration:

    https://theconversation.com/bioenergy-australias-forgotten-renewable-energy-source-so-far-28277

    Bioenergy: Australia’s forgotten renewable energy source (so far)
    September 26, 2014
    When we think of renewable energy, it’s easy to picture spinning wind turbines or rooftop solar panels. But what about bioenergy?

    While wind and solar are now well established – in South Australia wind now supplies 33% of the state’s power generation, while nationwide there are more than 1.3 million roofs now sporting solar panels – bioenergy has nowhere near the same reach or profile in Australia as it does in many other parts of the world.

    Modern bioenergy is not simply about burning wood to provide heat, or using crop-based oils, sugars and starches for ethanol and biodiesel. The range of available biomass sources now includes municipal waste, forest slash, invasive weeds and cereal straw, and they are being used to make products like biogas, green electricity and jet fuel.

    CSIRO research has previously shown that bioenergy could contribute substantially both to Australia’s electricity generation (up to 20% in 2030), and to its liquid fuel needs (30-40% by 2020). If used at this scale, emissions in both of these sectors would drop significantly. …

    You may like to read also most of the constructive, informed discussion and contributions below the main article from Sept 2014.
    Is really is amazing to notice the silence / lack of serious investigation on this multi-faceted potential of linking good land management practices with local, decentralised energy options in a situation Tasmania is in.
    Time will tell.

  31. MIck Kenny

    March 29, 2016 at 5:39 pm

    One thing seems sure. ‘Forensic’ examination of the fault and reports will form the basis of any legal disputes over compensation between the big players. Note this media release in such a context: (http://www.basslink.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Media-Statement-22-March-_2.pdf)

    Background reading and guestimation leads me to think the tonnage ‘cleared’ and to be loaded during the reconfiguration of Ile De Re suggest the cable to be rather weighty (scores of tons/km) and that some of the ‘good’ section will be reused, hence, three slices. It seems these will also occur on location for technical and logistical reasons. Either way,the imprecise and contradictory information provided to the public seems unhelpful.

    looking further back, Tasmania’s power network has undergone technical upgrades to enable effective National grid connection. However, import/export rates have limits, upper and lower and require time to reverse. As part of the National grid and pricing regime, balancing supply voltage, cycles and daily variations in demands has become very technical, but influenced by spot pricing and similar market mechanisms.

    This is where Hydro comes in, and the question of how water stocks were used. Did profit drive water storage usage, or was it used in adapting to the network variability, as hydro has traditionally done? This still leaves Tasmania with a power supply model that has been heavily influenced by Basslink’s technical implications and shaped by National grid considerations.

  32. Jack Lumber

    March 29, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    never has so little be said by so many ( apologies to WC )

    re 16

    “Whenever you’re faced with an explanation of what’s going on , the choice between incompetence and conspiracy, always choose incompetence.”

  33. John Powell

    March 29, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    Interesting that there has been little if any comment about the inherent and duplicitious role of Shareholding Minister Treasurer Peter Gutwein. He who so desires a surplus clearly demanded that Hydro exported all the energy it could for his selfish political purpose. One would hope that when this emergency has been resolved that a subsequent inquiry nails him to the mast!

  34. Ben Lohberger

    March 29, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    God that Age/SMH article about the “150 generators” is total crap.

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/tasmania-relying-on-150-diesel-generators-for-electricity-until-june-20160329-gnt0pd.html

    Apparently Tasmania is “now relying” on 150 diesel generators; Basslink “normally” imports half of Tasmania’s energy and is our “main supply cable”; TVPS is an “old” power station; and Hydro’s storages were run down only during the carbon tax (which was revoked July 2014).

    The worst thing is, the article includes figures that clearly show Basslink cannot import half the state’s energy, and a generation graph that reveals Basslink exporting energy prior to the spring drought (well after the carbon tax ended). As for TVPS, it was commissioned in 2009, just seven years ago. This isn’t a secret and it’s hard to see how anyone could describe it as “old”.

    The whole thing makes me think the author’s been led astray by people trying desperately to cover their own arses.

    Can anyone think of a GBE that would benefit from creating the following myths?:

    – our dams only ran down because of the carbon tax;
    – TVPS is old and wasn’t needed; and,
    – Tasmania imports half its power through Basslink? (and doesn’t export)

  35. Richard Kopf

    March 29, 2016 at 1:14 pm

    Ref #6. I agree totally with you. I also recall that the repair team could find no external damage. Having much experience working with electricity, it was beyond my belief that a 500Kv cable under full load, would rupture without leaving a mark or a clue to what had happened.

  36. Karl Stevens

    March 29, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    The Ile De Re repair ship has returned to Geelong. (10.50am Wed)

  37. Doug Nichols

    March 29, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    #7, or they’ve already made the 1.5km or so of replacement cable. It isn’t long enough to fix the extra bit of damage, but is too expensive to chuck away when they only need another 100m or so?

  38. Pete Godfrey

    March 29, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    Just another thought on why they need to do 3 joins. There is a possibility that they do not have enough spare cable to make the patch in one go.
    I seem to recall somewhere that they had around a kilometre of cable, now as the cable is doubled that would mean that they have two pieces of cable around a kilometre long. So they may be joining those pieces in order to bridge the gap in the cable.
    It would be very expensive to have too much cable lying around. Maybe someone knows, what actual size the cable is in Square Millimetres, I have tried to find out but haven’t been able to yet.

  39. Chris

    March 29, 2016 at 11:58 am

    #6
    Now now Pete, lateral thinking in Tasmania is banned even though Paul has vacated the pre misers and thought that clear felling was natures way of rejuvenating the world.
    When a cut is made (refer to big Joe) it does not require a reason apart from wealth shifting and the cable had water in its brain.
    Water on the brain is a common cause of neurones failing and a cable is no exception, no doubt the water has to be excluded and the paper insulation (of which there are multiple layers )be perfectly dry (and pristine) where the cut is made so to my mind it has to be cut back towards Tasmania WHERE it is dry and how will this be determined even after capping.
    Water presence in da Melbourne end could extend for a few meters or kilometres, the cable has to be pristine, it cannot be dried out.
    Where does the dry section begin in both ends, we are in for a long wait?
    Flinders would benefit of course, but thinking about cables would cost, let alone doing it, just like the inaction of joining the internet connection between Asia,Sydney and Perth onwards.
    The cost of this communication cable would increase our business and other opportunities, just like the same amount spent on Football.

  40. Clive Stott

    March 29, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Good thinking Pete #7 just shorten the cable up though to go to Flinders because we need to import power into Tas mainland, no exporting for years. This way Tas would be self-sufficient?

    If anyone is worried about costs the redundant cable length going to Vic could bring a penny.

    Flinders is already diesel power isn’t it which would match up beautifully with our diesel power, plus a bit of green energy from the wind generators. Nice.

    Synchronizing wouldn’t be a problem using the lamp bright/lamp dark method, better than the lamp dark scenario we are faced with here now.

    Who are the suckers? Go here:
    https://astro.uni-bonn.de/~dfischer/dark_sucker_2.html

  41. Carol Rea

    March 29, 2016 at 11:33 am

  42. Carol Rea

    March 29, 2016 at 11:32 am

    #6and#7Clive and Peter. Listening to Malcolm Eccles yesterday he stated that water had damaged the cable entering through the fault which was about ‘half the size of your thumb’. Also that it was ‘probably’ an internal blow out but that they won’t know until forensic testing occurs.
    Now the repair ship is back in Geelong undergoing the refit required to actually complete the splicing process.
    I also don’t understand why they can’t have just two joins.

  43. Pete Godfrey

    March 29, 2016 at 9:07 am

    #6 I agree Clive why patch in two pieces. All I can think is that the cap they put on one end of the cable did not keep the water out. I too can’t understand why they would not just cut the bad bit out and only have two joins, the more joins the more chance of future failure. Unless of course they have decided to put in a tap to send a line to Flinders Island to supply power there via Basslink. Now that would be a novel idea.

  44. Clive Stott

    March 29, 2016 at 4:00 am

    “…with both ends of [good] cable now capped and on the seabed..” why will we “…see a third joint required on the cable”?

    Surely for long term reliability you would splice in one good bit of cable and have just two joins?

    Extreme natural events sure play havoc with our thought processes.

    How come days and weeks of using a ROV didn’t find this punctured cable?

    It will be interesting to see if the cable was damaged externally or whether it blew out from inside.
    Forensic testing indeed; matching up paint samples, DNA and limpet mine residue.

    However, with this type of catastrophic earth fault Basslink must have known from the millisecond it happened what type of fault it was and where it was on the cable. (Joy oh joy we found the fault!)

    Extreme natural events such as this sure lead to months of secrecy.

  45. William Boeder

    March 29, 2016 at 12:43 am

    #3. Luigi, what a talent you have for cutting through the government hyperbole and that of his its largely the Labor/Greens fault.
    Simply a bloody nonsense, (even before the Greens had formed some unequal portion of the States government in leadership) just for starters.
    I very much enjoyed reading your scripted comment.

    Mr Mathew Groom with his calm and cool demeanour in dealing with this catastrophic event, well he reminds me of neighbours eldest son way back some 50 Summers ago.
    A somewhat tall and gangly fool of a youth who was well able to make mischief where other more sensible young persons would not consider there was any opportunity for creating any mischief.
    Young Graeme was able to keep his cool no matter when he was visited by a crisis or of a disaster of his own invention, for example after he had set fire to his father’s back shed while playing some juvenile flick the burning match trick.
    He was never a person to panic in such pressing circumstances, he stood back and looked at the spurting flames as they began to engulf the entire shed, then uttered one of his trademark wisdoms, “this shed will not burn forever, its just a matter of waiting it out.”
    “Then when dad gets home I will tell him that’s how you and I found the shed upon our returning back from Jack’s café.”
    “Don’t you open your trap about anything” he told me, “I will simply reassure dad that we had nothing to do with it.”
    Then looking directly at me he added that “he was pretty sure that I had nothing to do with it.”

    Yes, this dude was ever a person to maintain his cool no matter the horror or the crisis he had so recently and stupidly initiated.
    (I’m told this troubling bastard of a person still lives upon our planet Earth.)
    Any way cool in a crisis seems to be the speciality of minister Mathew Groom, “we’ll either get rain or we wont, don’t worry I have all the necessary contingent plans at my disposal.”
    “Anything else, no, then I hope you have a good day” says he, as he saunters off back to his office.

  46. Steve

    March 28, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    #3; Thanks Luigi. Appreciated and enjoyed!

  47. Luigi

    March 28, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    Matthew Groom was upbeat as he announced today that the first deadline for the installation of rented diesel generators had passed successfully. “We reached the end of March as I predicted,” he said.

    The slight underachievement on diesel generating capacity (20MW delivered against 100MW promised) was neatly counterbalanced by the additional time to be taken to fix BassLink. “It’s just a matter of swings and roundabouts. And it gives The Hydro additional achievement capacity in the forthcoming months,” he said.

    The Minister also mentioned that it will rain soon. He confidently stated that it will almost certainly rain sometime before the latest expected repair date of BassLink in mid June. “The longer it takes, the more chance there is of rain,“ he said.

    This week’s reported dam holding level – 13.9% – was lauded by the Minister. “Although the actual water energy levels have reduced somewhat, by reworking the numbers on the hypothetical absolute minimum levels yet again, the actual time to bone dry has increased once more,” he said. “In future, these numbers will be further reworked automatically. The reworked minimum will be announced each week with the new dam levels. This will prove handy as power consumption increases with the onset of winter.”

    The Minister also announced the release of the draft script for the forthcoming film “Die Hard Won’t It Ever End?” starring Bruce Willis (“Die Hard, Die Hard 2, Die Hard With a Vengeance”) based on the cock up. Although the movie will not begin filming for a year, Mr Willis is scheduled to be the hero in a titanic struggle against an extreme natural event. The screenplay completely exonerates the current Liberal government, although the former Federal Green-Labor Coalition has a darker role to play – being the perpetrators of the extreme natural event itself. “The film will show that Gillard’s carbon tax was the root cause of Tasmania’s catastrophe. Global Warming falls at the doorstep of Labor malfeasance. Bryan Green gets a bollocksing too,” he said.

    Bruce Willis – who will play the part of the only Hydro technician who can find Catagunyah power station and join generators together – will embody the Hydro’s sublime purity in this extreme natural event. This will build on Bruce’s strident support for the installation of BassLink in his previous movie “Die Hard With A Vengeance”. Alternatively, in a possible plot twist, Mr Willis may be no relation to the then CEO of the Hydro at all.

    Having discovered that the first BassLink undersea cable was not waterproof, a second waterproof BassLink will be strongly supported in the movie – which the Minister was at pains to point out was based on “real life extreme natural events”. The Minister dismissed suggestions by the CSIRO that two cables would fail twice as often. “What would you expect from a bunch of tea-sipping gorillas like the CSIRO” he said, noting their lack of leadership in useful research on Green-Labor Global Warming.

    The Board of the Hydro could not be contacted for comment. It is believed that the Board has sailed for the Cayman Islands on the Ile De Re. “More Bollinger, Carson.”

  48. Got Me a Wire

    March 28, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    The seven-gill shark bit the cable
    Just up from the warranty label
    Its jaws went full lock
    When it got a slight shock
    But only for Groom was it fatal

  49. Luigi

    March 28, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    It certainly looks like those outer binding strands have been damaged by something. A supertrawler, perchance?

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