Photo: Marinus Link

AEMO: Marinus Link should be built urgently to deliver clean energy

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) has characterised Marinus Link, a proposed 1,500 MW subsea and underground electricity connection between Victoria and Tasmania, as a critical part of the country’s clean energy future.

The market operator has published a 2022 Integrated System Plan (ISP) outlining that the project should be built urgently for the benefit of all Australian energy consumers, delivering clean energy for the national grid.

Marinus Link’s CEO Bess Clark welcomed the report, stating that the critical role of Marinus Link as part of the nation’s energy transition was underlined once again.

The ISP highlights that clean energy generators, like wind farms, in Tasmania can produce energy more efficiently than in other parts of the country, resulting in cheaper production and downward pressure on prices for consumers.

It also recognises the benefit that the Marinus Link will deliver in providing increased security and reliability for the national grid.

“With recent cold conditions along Australia’s east coast and other supply-chain challenges, Australian energy consumers have been faced with potential black-out conditions,” Clark said.

“The construction of Marinus Link will enable the mainland to access Tasmania’s abundant renewable energy and deep storage, ensuring that we can help keep the lights on right across the country.”

AEMO has also highlighted the role the Australian Government’s Rewiring the Nation Policy can play in supporting the earliest delivery of the Marinus Link and other ISP projects.

Earlier this year, the government allocated a $75 million funding grant for the delivery of the project. The grant will support the completion of the Project Marinus Design and Approvals phase, through to a final investment decision (FID) targeted for 2024.

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It is estimated that the first 750 MW Marinus Link stage will be energised in June 2028 with commercial operations scheduled to commence from December 2028.

The second 750 MW stage will follow approximately two years later. The timing outlined in the ISP of 2029-30 represents the first full year of commercial operation.

Marinus Link involves approximately 255 kilometres of undersea high voltage direct current (HVDC) cable, approximately 90 kilometres of underground HVDC cable and converter stations in Tasmania and Victoria.

According to the developers, the project will unlock savings of at least 140 million tonnes of CO2 by 2050, the equivalent of taking approximately a million petrol/diesel cars off the road.

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