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Poatina Power Station

Coordinates: 41°58′48″S 146°43′48″E / 41.98000°S 146.73000°E / -41.98000; 146.73000
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Miena Rockfill Dam
Poatina Power Station is located in Tasmania
Poatina Power Station
Location of the Miena Rockfill Dam in Tasmania
LocationCentral Highlands Tasmania
Coordinates41°58′48″S 146°43′48″E / 41.98000°S 146.73000°E / -41.98000; 146.73000
Opening date1967 (1967)
Owner(s)Hydro Tasmania
Dam and spillways
Type of damEmbankment dam
ImpoundsShannon River
Height28 metres (92 ft)
Length1,136 metres (3,727 ft)
Dam volume481 thousand cubic metres (17.0×10^6 cu ft)
Spillway typeControlled
Spillway capacity58 cubic metres per second (2,000 cu ft/s)
CreatesGreat Lake
Total capacity3,156,640 megalitres (111,476×10^6 cu ft)
Catchment area399 square kilometres (154 sq mi)
Surface area1,761.2 hectares (4,352 acres)
Poatina Power Station
Coordinates41°48′42″S 146°55′08″E / 41.81167°S 146.91889°E / -41.81167; 146.91889
Operator(s)Hydro Tasmania
Commission date1966 (1966); 1977 (1977); 2008 (2008); 2010 (2010)
Hydraulic head758 metres (2,487 ft)
Installed capacity313 megawatts (420,000 hp)
Capacity factor0.8
Annual generation1,255 gigawatt-hours (4,520 TJ)

The Poatina Power Station is a conventional hydroelectric power station located in the Central Highlands region of Tasmania, Australia. The power station is situated on the Great Lake and South Esk and is owned and operated by Hydro Tasmania.

Technical details[edit]

Located in the Great Lake and South Esk catchment area, Poatina makes use of a 900-metre (3,000 ft) descent from the Great Western Tiers to the Norfolk Plains in Tasmania's northern Midlands.[2][3] Water from Great Lake is diverted via a tunnel to the edge of the Great Western Tiers where it plummets down a viable penstock line, which enters the ground again near the power station. The Poatina Power Station is located 150 metres (490 ft) underground in a massive artificial cavern hence the name Poatina, Palawa for "cavern" or "cave". The headrace tunnel and penstocks were bored through mudstone with the aid of a Robbins Mole. Water leaves the power station via a roughly 4-kilometre (2.5 mi) long tailrace tunnel and discharges into the Macquarie River via Brumbies Rivulet.[4]

Poatina was commissioned in 1964, and replaced the Waddamana and Shannon power stations. The small construction village of Poatina sits perched on top of a low plateau, 3.5 kilometres (2.2 mi) from the stations subterranean location.[4]

The power station has six vertical shaft generating sets, five Boving 51.6-megawatt (69,200 hp) Pelton-type turbines of which three are upgraded Andritz turbines and one Fuji 54.5-megawatt (73,100 hp) Pelton-type turbine with a combined generating capacity of 300 megawatts (400,000 hp) of electricity. The station output, estimated at 1,255 gigawatt-hours (4,520 TJ) annually,[1] is fed via underground circuit breakers to two 16 kV/110 kV and four 16 kV/220 kV generator transformers located in the switchyard above,[4] and then to TasNetworks' transmission grid at the Palmerston Substation 4-kilometre (2.5 mi) to the east. Two grid batteries at a combined 380 MW / 860 MWh are scheduled for the substation by 2027.[5][6]

2016 Tasmanian energy crisis[edit]

The Poatina output in early 2016 had dropped to one-fifth of capacity due to ongoing water shortage in Tasmania's hydro system.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Register of Large Dams in Australia". Dams information. Australian National Committee on Large Dams. 2010. Archived from the original (Excel (requires download)) on 12 December 2013. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  2. ^ "yingina / Great Lake". Hydro Tasmania. Retrieved 24 June 2023.
  3. ^ Bowling, Tom; Hughes, Roger (December 2004). "Tunnel Repairs in the Poatina Hydro-electric Scheme, Tasmania" (PDF). Australian Geomechanics. 39 (4): 55–62. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  4. ^ a b c "Poatina Power Station: yingina / Great Lake – South Esk Catchment" (PDF). Hydro Tasmania. Archived (PDF) from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 24 June 2023.
  5. ^ "Neoen gets approval for first massive battery in hydro-dominated Tasmania". RenewEconomy. 25 September 2023.
  6. ^ "Akaysha's 2hr Tasmania battery flies through approvals in months". RenewEconomy. 29 January 2024.
  7. ^ "Hydro Tasmania staff preparing for 24-hour blackouts: Union". ABC News. 22 March 2016.

External links[edit]