National Grid Australia Pty Ltd (formerly Basslink Pty Ltd) is responsible for the construction of the Basslink Interconnector. This $500 million undersea power cable will link Tasmania to the National Energy Market (NEM), Australia's competitive wholesale market where electricity generators compete to sell their output. The cable will run from Loy Yang in Gippsland, Victoria, across Bass Strait to Bell Bay in northern Tasmania.
Basslink will have the capacity to operate at 480 megawatts continuously or up to 600 megawatt capacity for some hours to provide for peak export demand.
It will enhance security of supply on both sides of Bass Strait; protecting Tasmania against the risk of drought and protecting Victoria and southern states against the forecast shortage of peak load power identified in the National Electricity Market Management Company Limited (NEMMCO) Statement of Opportunities.
In late 2002, Basslink received the final approvals from the Tasmanian, Victorian and federal governments to enable the project to go ahead. It is expected to be commissioned by the summer of 2005-06 (source: http://www.nationalgrid.com.au).
For more information on the Basslink project, go to the National Grid web site, http://www.nationalgrid.com.au and the Hydro Tasmania web site http://www.hydro.com.au.