2018 10 Paper: Tarraleah Redevelopment Repurposing or Sustaining that is the question

Tarraleah Power Scheme is an 80 MW scheme in the central highlands of Tasmania. Constructed in the 1930’s, Tarraleah has been one of Tasmania’s most significant energy producing schemes for 85 years, and as such, has an iconic place in the history of hydro generation in Tasmania, and in fact the
economic development of Tasmania itself. After 85 years however, the scheme is showing her age, and the limitations of a scheme designed to
suit the construction methods of the day, with 17 km of headworks meandering its way towards the station, including canals, flumes, tunnels and some of the largest siphons ever constructed. Within a decade, significant decisions will need to be made on how to replace or sustain ‘end of life’ civil
assets approaching 100 years old. Not to mention the machines that still retain original components, though in need of the fourth set of runners and second set of windings. Complicating the equation however is the baseline configuration of the headworks system, and the
potential for disruptive changes in the energy market in future decades. The prospect of refurbishing Tarraleah for this market seems akin to checking your grandmother out of the home, and entering her in the Olympic 400m.
This paper will describe the considerations we are undertaking, and some of the options we are considering, with some reference to why. Mostly however, we feel the lessons we will learn from this will be relevant to ourselves and others in the next decade as we approach the challenge of
rebuilding and repurposing hydro electric schemes for a different energy mix in the future. Notably too, Tarraleah was constructed about 15 years before the most significant periods of construction of hydro schemes in Australia and New Zealand, the 50’s and 60’s, and so is some of the first large scale
civil infrastructure nearing its 100 year life. The lessons we learn from this works therefore may well guide the asset management plans for the next generation, as we grapple with massive amounts of infrastructure reaching that age, and potential end of life, all at the same time.

  • Author: Carl von Savageri, Garth Barnbaum
  • Exchange: 2018 - Albury AGL
  • Company: Hydro Tasmania
  • Topic: Asset Condition, Asset Management, Asset Replacement, Civil, Refurbishment
  • Key Words: Asset, Rehabilitation