The Australian Government has given environmental approval for Snowy 2.0’s Main Works, which will create up to 4,000 jobs, drive significant infrastructure investment and underpin Australia’s renewable energy future.
The approvals include almost $100 million in offsets, which will be invested in conservation and recreational projects in Kosciuszko National Park that will benefit the local environment and park users.
Snowy Hydro’s CEO Paul Broad said the Federal Government’s approval on 30 June 2020 now finally cleared Snowy 2.0 to go ahead.
“This is the final approval for Main Works including the tunnelling after a comprehensive and robust assessment process,” Mr Broad said.
“This is a very exciting day for Snowy Hydro and marks a major achievement in our vision to become Australia’s biggest battery and storage for renewable energy.
“Snowy 2.0 will provide 2,000mw of new peaking power and firming capacity that will provide clean and reliable energy to millions of Australians.
“We’re now moving full steam ahead with this vitally important project for Australia’s future.
“Snowy 2.0 is already playing a major part in kick-starting the local economy, with more than 100 local businesses involved and $35 million spent in the Snowy Mountains region.
“To date, more than 500 people are working on the project as we progress the Exploratory Works that have been approved and underway for more than 12 months,” Mr Broad said.
There has been significant project activity at the Lobs Hole work site, with access roads and permanent bridges built, an initial construction camp established and excavations at the main access tunnel portal, in preparation for the first tunnel boring machine, which is expected to arrive in the coming months.
The Main Works will see construction continue to ramp up and will include an underground pumped-hydro power station, a range of tunnels, chambers and shafts, and roads, power and communications infrastructure.
“For a small permanent and mostly temporary construction footprint covering just 0.1% of the park, Snowy 2.0 will deliver 2,000MW of clean energy and large-scale energy storage to support many other wind and solar projects coming online,” Mr Broad said.
“We have been operating in Kosciuszko National Park for more than 70 years and we are committed to seeing it left in better shape for future generations.
“Snowy 2.0 will continue to be a major economic boost for local and regional communities dealing with the double impact of bushfires and COVID-19, with the workforce predicted to total 4,000 over the life of the project.”