Scheme Modernisation Project

Snowy Hydro has embarked on a substantial modernisation program, which will maximise the value of the Snowy Mountains Scheme hydro-generation assets.  The program will deliver engineering solutions, which underpin our trading strategies and increase our flexibility in responding to future operating and maintenance strategies.

Modernisation of the Snowy Mountains Scheme Power Stations will introduce advanced controls and protection systems technology across the entire Scheme.  Ageing and high maintenance plant components such as circuit breakers, high voltage transformers and cables will be replaced with modern components.  New turbine runners will optimise generation capabilities and improve efficiency of water utilisation.

Major maintenance of the Schemes extensive trans-mountain tunnel systems, which deliver water from lakes to the power stations, is in progress to ensure the ongoing safe and reliable management of water utilised by the Snowy Mountains Scheme.  Innovative maintenance techniques and engineering solutions for water conveyance tunnels are enabling future tunnel maintenance requirements to be substantially reduced.

Update – June 2013

Work on Snowy Hydro’s $400 million Scheme Modernisation project continued through the first half of 2013.

Upgrade works in the Kosciuszko region have been completed this year. Jindabyne Pumping Station pumping units had their control and protection systems replaced with modern technology. In addition the two generating units at Guthega Power Station, the oldest power station in Snowy Hydro’s fleet, have now been refurbished and returned to service.

The major works in the Lower Tumut region were completed in 2011. The six generating units at Tumut 3, the largest Power Station in the Snowy Hydro fleet, have all been modernised and upgraded with the turbine runners replaced, installation of new governors, control and protection systems and all other mechanical and electrical components overhauled. The upgraded units at Tumut 3 are now capable of providing between 25 and 50MW of additional capacity each. Blowering Power Station control, protection, governor and excitation systems were replaced in 2009 to provide reliable remote operation.

Twenty one air-blast generator circuit breakers across the Scheme have now been replaced with modern reliable SF6 insulated breakers. The new breakers reduce maintenance requirements, increase overall availability, and improve reliability. In addition, all 11kV distribution circuit breakers across the Scheme have been replaced.

Work is continuing in Upper Tumut. The seven main generator transformers and associated 330kV cables for the Tumut 1 underground Power Station have been replaced, with the final unit returned to service in June 2013. New turbine runners have been delivered for the four generating units at Tumut 2 Power Station. All four new turbine runners for the Tumut 1 units will also be on site by the end of the year. Detailed planning is underway for the installation of those new runners, along with extensive mechanical and electrical overhaul works, commencing in 2014.

The initial upgrade works in the Murray region were completed in 2008 with the overhaul of Unit 14 at Murray 2 Power Station. 2012 saw a return to the region with controls and protection upgrades for units 7 and 8 at Murray 1 Power Station. Similar control and protection upgrade works are now being finalised on units 9 and 10 and will continue on the remaining Murray 1 units through to 2015. In addition, overhaul of the 16 main generator transformers at Murray 1 has commenced and will continue through into 2017. Manufacture of new turbine runners for all ten Murray 1 generating units is now underway. Installation of those new runners along with mechanical and electrical overhaul works are scheduled to commence in 2015.

The Scheme Modernisation works are an investment in maximising Snowy Hydro’s asset value through increasing turbine capacity and efficiency, maintaining long term reliable operational capability and replacing aging technology. The safe completion of these complex works is made possible through the teamwork, dedication, and skill of Snowy Hydro employees and our valued suppliers and contractors.

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