Tarraleah Power Station

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Tarraleah Power Station
Tarraleah hydroelectric penstocks.jpg
Penstocks feeding the Tarraleah Power Station
LocationCentral Highlands, Tasmania
Coordinates42°18′04″S 146°27′25″E / 42.30111°S 146.45694°E / -42.30111; 146.45694Coordinates: 42°18′04″S 146°27′25″E / 42.30111°S 146.45694°E / -42.30111; 146.45694
Construction beganNovember 1934 (1934-11)
Opening date
  • July 1938 (1938-07):
  • 1943 (1943)-1951 (1951)
Owner(s)Hydro Tasmania
CreatesLake King William
Total capacity539,340 ML (19,047×10^6 cu ft)
Power Station
Hydraulic head287 metres (942 ft)
Installed capacity90 MW (120,000 hp)
Capacity factor0.8
Annual generation684 GWh (2,460 TJ)

The Tarraleah Power Station is a hydroelectric power station located in the Central Highlands region of Tasmania, Australia. The power station is part of the Upper Derwent hydro scheme and is operated by Hydro Tasmania.


The Upper River Derwent hydroelectric scheme was developed at a time in 1934 when the former Hydro-Electric Commission had only two working power stations.[2]: 1  In 1934 the Derwent Valley Power Development power scheme was approved by the Parliament of Tasmania with the Tarraleah Power Station as the first completed power station of that scheme.[3]

Ticklebelly Flat, the nickname for the married quarters at Tarraleah Camp number 2 in the 1930s, is a name for the history of Hydro Tasmania by Heather Fenton, known as Ticklebelly Tales.[4]

Power station[edit]

The outdoor switchyard located adjacent to the Tarraleah Power Station.

Part of the Derwent scheme that now comprises eleven hydroelectric power stations, the Tarraleah Power Station is located aboveground on the west bank of the Nive River downstream from the village of Tarraleah and a short distance from the Lyell Highway. The station draws its water from a variety of sources. Water from the concrete arched Clark Dam across the River Derwent that forms Lake King William flows from the lake and also from the Butlers Gorge Power Station around 25 kilometres (16 mi) via the Tarraleah Canals.[5][6][7]

The power station was opened in July 1938[8][9][10][11] and has six Pelton-type turbines, with a generating capacity of 90 megawatts (120,000 hp) of electricity. The station output is fed to the transmission grid via 11 kV metal clad switchgear and two 11 /110 kV 75MVA 3-phase power transformers.[6]

Engineering heritage award[edit]

The Tarraleah hydro-electric development received a Historic Engineering Marker from Engineers Australia as part of its Engineering Heritage Recognition Program.[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Register of Large Dams in Australia" (Excel (requires download)). Dams information. Australian National Committee on Large Dams. 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2015.
  2. ^ "Tarraleah Power Development: 1938 to date" (PDF). Historic Engineering Marker Submission and Ceremony Report. Engineers Australia. 19 February 1998. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
  3. ^ Felton, Heather (2008). Chapter 3: On the Upper Derwent. Ticklebelly Tales and other stories from the people of the Hydro. Hydro Tasmania. pp. 76–120. ISBN 978-0-646-47724-4.
  4. ^ Lupton, Roger (1999), Lifeblood: Tasmania's hydro power (photo), Focus Publications, p. 118, ISBN 978-1-875359-33-2
  5. ^ "Upper Derwent Valley area". Community. Hydro Tasmania. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
  6. ^ a b "Tarraleah Power Station: Technical fact sheet" (PDF). Energy: Our power stations. Hydro Tasmania. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  7. ^ "Derwent: Tarraleah Power Station". Energy. Hydro Tasmania. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
  8. ^ Tarraleah power development, Hydro-Electric Commission of Tasmania, 1938, retrieved 25 November 2014
  9. ^ Austral Archaeology Pty Ltd (David Parham); Ian Terry (April 2007), Tarraleah Power Station—Conservation Management Plan (PDF), retrieved 1 February 2012
  10. ^ Hydro Tasmania (2000), The Tarraleah Power Station : history, [Tasmania] Hydro Tasmania, retrieved 25 November 2014
  11. ^ Terry, Ian (14 March 2006), "'The transformation of a wilderness': the development of the Tarraleah power station, 1934-1951", Papers and Proceedings, Tasmanian Historical Research Association, 53 (4): 197–209, ISSN 0039-9809
  12. ^ "Tarraleah Hydro-electric Development, Derwent River, 1938-". Engineers Australia. Retrieved 8 May 2020.

External links[edit]