Cloud seeding delivers 20 MW additional energy

ydro Tasmania today commented on a call by the Greens’ Tim Morris for
an independent study into cloud seeding. In a Hydro Tasmania media
release (8 November 2005), Executive General Manager Roger Gill said
cloud seeding was an important measure to assist in the sustainability
of Tasmania’s power system, which relied on water resources to provide
electricity to Tasmanian homes and industry.

Calls for study with council: Mr Gill said Hydro Tasmania had
endeavoured for two years to initiate an independent study into the
impacts of cloud seeding in collaboration with the West Coast Council.
“We have invited Council on several occasions to suggest the scope of
the study,” Mr Gill said. “If the study is to have any credibility, it
must have the full support of both parties.”

Accuracy attested to: Mr Gill said cloud seeding was studied on
an experimental basis for 30 years before being introduced
operationally 10 years ago. The accuracy of Hydro Tasmania’s cloud
seeding program was attested to in a study commissioned by Hydro
Tasmania, the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association and the
Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment three years ago
and undertaken by Dr Mike Pook of the Cooperative Research Centre.

Snowy keen on cloud seeding: Other jurisdictions are
enthusiastic about cloud seeding, including Snowy Mountains
Hydro-Electric Authority, which has had a 25 percent increase in
snowfall in its first season of cloud seeding.

20MW extra a year: Hydro Tasmania also rejected the Greens’
suggestion of possible environmental impacts from using silver iodide
in the process. “The cloud seeding program delivers on average 20 MW of
additional energy each year into our power system, which equates to
enough electricity for 12,000 households,” he said.

8 years of below average rainfall: “After eight years of below
average rainfall into our water storages, this is a very valuable
contribution to our capacity to meeting Tasmania’s power demands. We
have targeted our main water storages at Great Lake and Lake Gordon
which are currently at a lower level than the same time last year.” Mr
Gill said the cloud seeding program normally ran from April to
November.

Reference: Hydro Tasmania, 8 November 2005.

Erisk Net, 10/11/2005

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