About Snowy 2.0
Snowy 2.0 is a pumped-hydro expansion of the Snowy Scheme which will supercharge existing generation and large-scale storage 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 acts 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, when energy is needed most, the stored water will be used to generate and dispatch electricity within minutes.
Pumping water at times of low demand means that Snowy 2.0 will have water ready to use for energy generation at times when consumers need it most.
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.
Snowy 2.0 will link the two existing reservoirs of Tantangara and Talbingo through underground tunnels and there will be an underground power station in between with pumping capabilities. The project will involve underground excavation and tunnelling works between Tantangara and Talbingo reservoirs to depths of up to 1 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. Accommodation will be provided for construction workers in temporary camps close to the work sites.
While the overall Snowy 2.0 project will be overseen and managed by Snowy Hydro, construction of Snowy 2.0 will be undertaken by a specialist construction company who will be responsible for all aspects of the build including staffing.
Snowy 2.0 will increase generation capacity of up to 2000 megawatts, and at full capacity, about 350 000 megawatt hours of energy storage. The operating life will be consistent with the rest of the Scheme’s existing assets, which have been upgraded and technologically improved over the last 70 years.
For more information on the engineering and construction, as well as mechanical specifications, download our summary document here.