Snowy Mountains Scheme
The Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Scheme is one of the most complex integrated water and hydro-electric power schemes in the world.
The Scheme collects and stores the water that would normally flow east to the coast and diverts it through trans-mountain tunnels and power stations. The water is then released into the Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers for irrigation.
The Scheme took 25 years to build and was completed in 1974. More than 100,000 people from over 30 countries came to work in the mountains to make true a vision of diverting water to farms to feed a growing nation and to build power stations to generate renewable electricity for homes and industries.
Sixteen major dams, seven major power stations (two underground), a pumping station, 145kms of inter-connected trans-mountain tunnels and 80kms of aqueducts were constructed. Even before the Scheme was completed, it was named as one of the civil engineering wonders of the modern world.
The Scheme is operated and maintained by Snowy Hydro Limited.
Today, Snowy Hydro continues to play a vital role in the growth and the development of Australia’s national economy, by diverting water that underwrites over $3 billion in agricultural produce and by generating clean renewable energy.
Snowy Hydro currently provides around 32% of all renewable energy that is available to the eastern mainland grid of Australia, as well as providing fast response power to light up the morning and evening rush hours of Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne and Adelaide.
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