Snowy Hydro Limited is a business providing a complex array of financial hedge and insurance products to participants in the National Electricity Market (NEM). We are the leading provider of peak, renewable electricity to the National Electricity Market and a fully integrated Australian energy business with an excellent track record in financial performance, engineering innovation, workplace culture and business practices. We currently employ over 650 personnel in Cooma, Jindabyne, Talbingo, Khancoban, Cabramurra, La Trobe Valley, Sydney and Melbourne. The National Electricity Market, as it grows each year, depends on Snowy Hydro to also grow and keep pace with the market.
We own and operate the 3950 megawatt (MW) Snowy Mountains Scheme, an integrated water and hydro-electric power project located in Australia’s Southern Alps, the 300MW Valley Power gas-fired power station and the 320MW Laverton North gas-fired power station both located in Victoria. We will continue to expand our gas-fired generation capability in both New South Wales and Victoria.
In addition, we are the parent company of Red Energy, a retailer selling electricity and gas to consumers in the Victorian, South Australian and New South Wales markets.
The Snowy Mountains Scheme is undoubtedly one of the civil engineering wonders of the modern world. Built over a 25 year period from 1949 to 1974, it diverts water for irrigation west to the Murray and Murrumbidgee river systems and produces clean, renewable, hydro electricity through a complex integrated infrastructure which includes sixteen major dams, seven major power stations, 145km of interconnected tunnels and 80km of aqueducts.
The Snowy Scheme’s rapid response generators and our fast start gas generation portfolio provide essential services to the National Electricity Market, including the supply of peak electricity to New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory and South Australia as well as frequency control, voltage control, emergency support and black start capability in the event of a complete system failure.
Each year the Snowy Scheme produces on average 4500 gigawatt hours of clean, renewable, hydro electricity, or around 32% of all renewable energy on the mainland National Electricity Market. In addition, through the use of a clean, renewable resource, generation of electricity from the Snowy Mountains Scheme displaces approximately 4,500,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year, that could otherwise be produced by coal-burning power stations.
Snowy Hydro recognises the potential impact of climate change and believes it should continue its evidently successful cloud seeding program for increased snow pack and continue to expand its gas-fired generation capability to enable conservation of scarce water resources, and to provide flexibility of generation fuel such that water releases can be better timed to meet irrigation and town water supply needs.
Some important facts about Snowy Hydro are:
- Snowy Hydro does not own the water it releases in the course of electricity generation, the NSW Government does;
- Snowy Hydro does not own or control the release of water to the irrigators. Release is controlled by the NSW Government and by the Murray Darling Basin Commission;
- Snowy Hydro can not store water. The Company has to release a prescribed amount of water each year and this is determined by its Water Licence issued by the NSW Government;
- Snowy Hydro is not a State Owned Corporation, even though it is owned by the three Governments. Since corporatisation in 2002 it operates as a Corporations Act company. Its borrowings are not guaranteed by Governments and it has no access to additional equity other than from the Government owners;
- Snowy Hydro is less a generator of electricity and more a provider of price risk financial hedge contracts to the electricity industry.
Snowy Hydro Limited is constantly pursuing new business opportunities and looking at ways to improve our business performance and output.
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