About Snowy 2.0
Snowy 2.0 will link the two existing Snowy Scheme reservoirs of Tantangara and Talbingo through underground tunnels and an underground power station with pumping capabilities. Pumped hydro works like a conventional hydro-electric scheme, but instead of releasing the water after energy has been generated, a pumped hydro scheme ‘recycles’ or pumps water back to the upper reservoir to be used again.
The ability to pump and store water means Snowy 2.0 will act like a giant battery by absorbing, storing and dispatching energy. Snowy 2.0 will pump water using electricity at times of low demand and store it in the upper reservoir. Then, at times of peak demand when energy is needed most, the stored water will be used to generate and dispatch electricity within minutes.
If the wind is blowing in the middle of the night when consumers are asleep, Snowy 2.0 can absorb the wind energy through pumping and store the water in the upper reservoir. When households wake up and the demand for energy soars, Snowy 2.0 can quickly generate and dispatch energy across the grid.
The project will involve underground excavation and tunnelling works between the two reservoirs to depths of up to one kilometre. It will also involve surface works in several locations including at the intake-outlet structures, surge shaft, cable and ventilation portal sites. A number of supporting works will also be required such as establishing or upgrading access tracks and roads and electricity connections to construction sites.
The first power generated from Snowy 2.0 is expected in 2024 and its operating life will be consistent with the Scheme’s existing assets, which continue to be robust and reliable 70 years after construction.
The final investment decision (FID) on the 2.0 project is expected to be made by Snowy Hydro’s independent Board of Directors by the end of 2018.