At present most of Tasmania’s electricity demands are met by hydro generation. This Hydro power can be supplemented by operating the Bell Bay oil fired station when river flows are low and storages depleted, but at a higher production cost.
Future hydro schemes in Tasmania are limited, and with considerable public pressure against the building of large scale Hydro projects, alternative energy sources are being considered as real options, even though the power produced may be at a greater economic cost to the community.
The investigation of these alternative energy sources has resulted in the Water Resources Department monitoring not only the traditional parameters of river level and rainfall, but are now moving into more environmental impact fields. Entry into these fields has required the introduction of specialised hardware, and the development of software to process the data.