Plans approved for main works at $3bn Snowy 2.0 hydropower project in Australia
May 22, 2020 – The state government of New South Wales (NSW) in Australia has issued planning approval for the main works for the Snowy Hydro 2.0 hydropower project.
Estimated to cost A$4.6bn ($3bn), the Snowy Hydro 2.0 project involves the 2GW expansion of the existing Snowy Hydro-operated 4.1GW Snowy Mountains Scheme.
Located in New South Wales, Australia, the Snowy Mountains Scheme has been in service for the last five decades.
NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro said: “Snowy Hydro is an icon of our community, with Snowy 2.0 already employing about 500 people, directly injecting more than $35 million into the Snowy Mountains and involving more than 100 local businesses.
“This latest approval will see the creation of an extra 2,000 jobs during the construction phase, unlock billions of investment in regional NSW and allow the next stage of construction to further progress this legacy project.”
The Snowy Hydro 2.0 project involves the construction of a pumped-hydro power station about 800m underground, and 27kms of tunnels between the Talbingo and Tantangara Reservoirs.
Expected to add 350GWh of energy storage, the project will provide the electricity required to power 500,000 homes during peak demand.
A joint venture of Salini Impregilo and Australia’s Clough is responsible for civil works and an electromechanical component of the Snowy 2.0 project.
NSW Planning and Public Spaces Minister Rob Stokes said: “In March we approved the Snowy 2.0 Segment Factory, and this month we have approved the Snowy 2.0 Main Works, enabling the creation of new jobs and the flow of substantial investment into our State.
“The projects approval also requires Snowy Hydro to invest almost $100 million for biodiversity and environmental offsets to protect threatened species and deliver long-term conservation and recreational benefits for the Kosciuszko National Park.”
Snowy Hydro, which is currently undertaking exploratory works on the site, plans to submit an application to the Federal Government for final approval.
The project’s main works are scheduled to start in the coming months.