Snowy Hydro is excited to announce the winners of this year’s annual Science of the Snowy Scheme Competition, from a total of 128 entries!

This year’s competition was created to increase students’ engagement with Snowy Hydro STEM experts during National Science Week 2023.

Stage 2 and 3 (year 3-6) students in the Snowy Mountains and surrounding areas were given the opportunity to take part in the competition, which included a colouring-in and a written response task. The students were asked to answer the question: Who is someone that inspires you and why? 

The children were inspired and excited to use their creativity while also displaying insightfulness in their written pieces. Some students wrote about their parents or friends, others discussed their teachers, favourite singers, athletes and celebrities.

There were two judging categories to review entries across stage 2 and stage 3. This included an esteemed and diverse panel of four judges, as well as ‘Community Choice’ voting. 

The ‘Judges’ Choice’ panel included the Hon Kristy McBain MP, Member for Eden-Monaro, local artist Rowena Evans, David Eisenhauer from local radio Sounds of the Mountains and Snowy Hydro mechanical engineer Sara Roder. 

The competition entries were open to the public to vote for the ‘Community Choice’, where all student work was available for viewing and voting on the Snowy Hydro website. 

All judging has now concluded, with a winner and runner-up selected for stage 2 and 3, under each judging category. The winners will receive a VIP catered experience at the Snowy Hydro Discovery Centre and a STEM prize package valued at $150 and the runners-up will each collect a STEM prize pack, also valued at $150 each. 

Snowy Hydro are proud to announce the winners of the 2023 Science of the Snowy Scheme Competition:

Judges’ Choice – Winners 

Stage 2 – Ellie Reid | St Patrick’s Parish School Cooma

Stage 3 – Clara Stefanetto | St Patrick’s Parish School Cooma

Judges’ Choice – Runners-up

Stage 2 – Emilio Brazulaitis | St Patrick’s Parish School Cooma

Stage 3 – Cormac Girling | St Patrick’s Parish School Cooma

Community Choice – Winners

Stage 2 – Bella Chorvat | Cooma Public School

Stage 3 – Lola Tonissen | Delegate Public School

Community Choice – Runners-up

Stage 2 – Hamish Walker | Delegate Public School

Stage 3 – Harlan Ingram | Delegate Public School

The winning entries will be displayed on the Snowy Hydro website and showcased at the Snowy Hydro Discovery Centre in Cooma. 
Stay tuned for the 2024 Science of the Snowy Scheme Competition which will run in Term 2. For more activities, visit the Snowy Hydro Next Generation Education Academy on the Snowy Hydro website.




In this month’s project update, we check on tunnel excavation at Talbingo, progress at the upstream surge shaft at Marica, and we hear about the specialised drilling underway to prepare for services such as power and communications between Lobs Hole, Marica and Tantangara.

Will Binsted, Snowy 2.0 Lobs Hole Construction Manager, has been working on the project for four years and is responsible for coordinating both surface and underground works. Will, who lives locally in Tumut, liaises with technical specialists as well as designers and project engineers across the busy worksite.

To see the latest Snowy 2.0 project’s statistics, view the fact sheet here.

A complex task is underway at Lobs Hole to drill boreholes for the pipes that will house power, water and fibre optic cable for communications across three of the Snowy 2.0 sites.

Horizontal directional drilling (HDD) is being used to drill 2.2km-long boreholes from Lobs Hole to Marica. The holes are initially 300 millimetres in diameter and have an elevation difference of 650 metres. 

Two drilling operations are underway from top and bottom and will join up to create a continuous borehole before being enlarged to 660 millimetres in diameter.

This type of drilling is used for service lines that cross under waterways or underground structures and requires a high level of skill to maintain directional control while operating a drill string up to 1.8km long. Snowy 2.0 has contracted HDD experts Michels for the project.

The boreholes eliminate the need to construct approximately five kilometres of roads and excavate up to 60 metre cuts in the steep terrain, helping the Snowy 2.0 project team minimise environmental impacts. 

HDD techniques will also be used to take services under the Snowy Mountains Highway and waterways across the plateau through to the Tantangara worksite.

At Marica, the 28 metre diameter headrace surge shaft is now one-fifth of the way to its final depth of 263 metres and we’re starting drill and blast activities. There are two hoisting buckets called kibbles with a capacity of 25 tonnes for loading out excavated rock.

Excavators break up the rock with hydraulic hammers before it’s loaded into the kibbles and craned out of the shaft. The kibbles are lowered into hoppers and the rock drops into an articulated dump truck before being removed to a temporary stockpile area.

With the shaft now more than 50 metres deep, an integrated work platform and personnel hoist is being installed to provide worker access. We’ve installed ventilation ducts to manage air quality. 

At Talbingo, tunnelling of the tailrace adit is complete. TBM Lady Eileen Hudson is now excavating the tailrace tunnel alignment and heading towards the power station complex. This marks the start of the first power waterway on the Snowy 2.0 project. 

Excavation is ahead of schedule, with more than 26 metres recently excavated in a single day. The tailrace tunnel is six kilometres in length, with TBM excavation continuing through to mid-2025. 

Snowy 2.0 is being engineered to deliver clean and reliable energy storage and generation for the next 150 years. The target date for commercial operation of all units is December 2028, with first power expected in the second half of 2027. 




Interested in the latest updates from the Snowy 2.0 renewable energy mega project? 

Snowy Hydro and Snowy 2.0 principal contractor Future Generation Joint Venture are inviting local community members to attend information sessions being held throughout the Snowy Mountains in November. 

These in-person events enable locals to be updated about the project, ask questions and provide feedback. Hear from the Snowy 2.0 team about:

  • the recent project reset  
  • project progress, construction activities and news
  • traffic management, environment and safety
  • accommodation, recreation access and other local issues; 
  • local suppliers, jobs and training on Snowy 2.0.

Snowy Hydro CEO Dennis Barnes said with a significant public focus on Snowy 2.0 in recent months, the sessions provided opportunities to find out more directly from project team members.

“We are committed to being open and transparent with you – our local communities – about our  large and complex pumped-hydro project. A project of this scale and complexity has, and will, face challenges, but we continue to make solid progress across our construction and manufacturing operations. 

“Snowy 2.0 is being engineered to deliver clean and reliable storage and electricity generation for Australians for the next 150 years. It is a project that is generating jobs and significant investment in regional areas.

“I encourage everyone to come along to one of our community information sessions to hear the latest about Snowy 2.0, discuss any local concerns that you may have and ask questions.”

The Snowy 2.0 community information sessions in November will be held in Talbingo, Tumut, Tumbarumba, Cooma and Adaminaby. 

There will be some drop-in sessions, with the chance to speak one-on-one with project team members, and events featuring a formal presentation followed by community Q&As.

Community information sessions schedule:

Date Town and locationTime
Wednesday 8 November 2023
Wednesday 8 November 2023
Talbingo shops
Tumut River Brewing Co
Thursday 9 November 2023Near Tumbarumba IGA, The Parade12.00pm-2.00pm
Tuesday 14 November 2023Cooma Car Club6.00pm-7.30pm
Wednesday 15 November 2023Adaminaby Bowling Club6.00pm-7.30pm



Snowy Hydro is a long-time major supporter of communities and is proud to announce that the second round of the 2023 Snowy Hydro Community Grants Program is now open. 

Grants of up to $10,000 are available to support projects, local festivals, events and initiatives that benefit the local communities of the Snowy Mountains and surrounds.

In the first round of Snowy Hydro’s Community Grants Program earlier this year, there were more than 45 grant applications, with a total of $143,000 of funding distributed to 20 successful applicants.

The grants are available to a varied range of community groups, events and initiatives that align with Snowy Hydro’s four community commitment pillars of education and development, health and wellbeing, regional capacity building and environment.

Snowy Hydro CEO Dennis Barnes said “Snowy is proud of our ongoing commitment to communities and is pleased to provide positive, lasting outcomes and opportunities to the regions in which we live, work and serve.” 

“If you have a project, activity or event that benefits the local communities of the Snowy Mountains and surrounds, I encourage you to check your eligibility and apply!” Dennis said.

In order to be eligible for a grant, each application has to undergo a diligent assessment process to maintain consistency and transparency across the program. Before applying, please ensure your application aligns with Snowy Hydro’s Community Commitment Pillars and grant selection criteria. 

The proposed project or event should respond to a community need, provide tangible benefits to the community, strengthen the community by providing opportunities, demonstrate strong governance, foster strong and sustainable partnerships within the community and return value for investment. Importantly, applicant groups must be located within the Snowy Monaro or Snowy Valleys LGAs, or Corryong, Victoria, be a non-profit group or organisation that holds an Australian Business Number (ABN) and align with Snowy Hydro’s Values. All applications are to be submitted online via the online form, found on the Snowy Hydro website.

Applications for round 2 of the Snowy Hydro Community Grants Program must be received by Friday 15 October. Following the evaluation period, applicants will be advised of the outcome by 30 November 2022.

For more information about Snowy Hydro’s Community Grants Program visit:




Snowy Hydro and Red Energy are proud to announce the sponsorship of the Climate Change Mitigation & Adaptation category in the Keep Australia Beautiful NSW Tidy Towns & Sustainable Cities Awards. 

Keep Australia Beautiful NSW is a national non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting litter prevention, environmental sustainability and community engagement. 

Snowy Hydro CEO Dennis Barnes said the company’s sponsorship of the KAB NSW Tidy Towns & Sustainable Cities Awards would help increase awareness about how Snowy is supporting the transition to renewables in Australia. 

“We are proud to have lived, breathed and delivered renewable energy to Australians through the mighty Snowy Scheme for generations,” Dennis said. “We are committed to continuing this legacy and enhancing it.

“The combined Red Energy and Snowy Hydro support for the KAB partnership continues our consistent commitment to sustainability and the communities in which we live and work.”

Through its programs and campaigns, Keep Australia Beautiful NSW inspires individuals and communities to take action in preserving and enhancing the natural and built environments.

The Keep Australia Beautiful NSW Tidy Towns & Sustainable Cities Awards celebrate the achievements of communities that demonstrate outstanding environmental practices, social inclusivity, and economic viability. By sponsoring the Climate Change Mitigation & Adaptation category, Snowy Hydro and Red Energy aim to encourage and motivate communities to take proactive measures towards climate resilience and a clean energy future. 

This category focuses on recognising and rewarding local initiatives that address the challenges posed by climate change. These include the involvement of government and non-government organisations, community groups, businesses, schools, and individuals across NSW focusing on projects like renewable energy, enabling communities to adapt to a changing climate, and community engagement. 
For more information about the Keep Australia Beautiful NSW Awards and the Climate Change Mitigation & Adaptation category, please visit KAB NSW Sustainability Awards website.


TagEnergy and Snowy Hydro ink momentous renewable Power Purchase Agreement


Snowy Hydro to purchase 40 percent of Golden Plains Wind Farm energy and green certificates

Global clean energy enterprise TagEnergy has signed a significant renewable Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), entering a deal that will see Snowy Hydro take 40 per cent of the energy and green certificates (LGCs) generated by the 756MW first stage of Golden Plains Wind Farm.

This transaction is the first PPA for the Golden Plains Wind Farm since the first stage of the 1,300MW mega project near Geelong, Victoria achieved financial close in November 2022 on a merchant basis, which was unique at the time. 

It comes as TagEnergy negotiates further PPAs for the project that has generated significant interest for its quality and location.

Franck Woitiez, Chief Executive Officer, TagEnergy said achieving financial close of Golden Plains Wind Farm East without the need for PPAs proved the effectiveness of its innovative investment approach.

“Now, this landmark PPA with Snowy Hydro proves our strategy to progressively contract the energy production during construction and operation. It also reflects the confidence major industry players like Snowy Hydro have in our large-scale renewables project expertise,” Mr Woitiez said.

“We are proud to enter this agreement with Snowy Hydro as we both work to ensure energy security and accelerate the transition to renewable energy as part of a rapidly growing industry,” he said.

The transaction has helped enable Snowy Hydro to secure a significant portion of its energy and LGC needs with a quality project that is at an advanced stage. 

Snowy Hydro Chief Executive Officer, Dennis Barnes, said “our partnership with TagEnergy is a significant step in supporting the decarbonisation of the National Electricity Market and further enabling Australia’s transition to renewables.”

Snowy Hydro Chief Commercial Officer, Gordon Wymer, added, “TagEnergy has succeeded in developing an investment structure that provided optimal outcomes for all stakeholders. This has enabled Snowy to continue to expand its ability to provide clean, green, cost-effective renewable energy to our customers, and paves the way for further cooperation with TagEnergy on other developments.”

Construction on the $2bn, 756MW stage one development featuring 122 turbines officially began in April 2023 following months of early works including road upgrades. It is expected to start producing renewable energy in the first quarter of 2025. 

The estimated annual emissions abatement is an average 770,000 tonnes CO 2 -e, or more than 23 million tonnes CO 2 -e over the project’s 30-year lifetime. 




Energised by electricity? Handy with a hammer? Nimble with numbers? Women keen to pick up the tools can find out more about an exciting new career at a trade day in Corryong sponsored by the Snowy Hydro Community Grants Program.

Hosted by Empowered Women in Trades (EWIT), the Tool Skills Day on Thursday 7 September aims to inspire local high school and TAFE students and other young women in Corryong to learn a skilled trade in the disciplines of civil, electrical and mechanical.

EWIT was one of 20 successful applicants receiving a total of $143,000 in funding from round one of the 2023 Snowy Hydro Community Grants. The highly successful program offers grants of up to $10,000 to support projects, festivals, events and initiatives which benefit the local communities of the Snowy Mountains and surrounds.

The EWIT proposal for a Tool Skills Day aimed at young women strongly aligns with Snowy Hydro’s community commitment pillar of education and development. 

Snowy Hydro CEO Dennis Barnes said fostering education opportunities and career pathways for local young people was a key focus for the company.

“We are committed to a diverse and inclusive workforce and we are keen to encourage young women into non-traditional roles like trades,” Dennis said. “At Snowy, we have a range of entry-level programs that provide a fantastic opportunity to get local young people straight from the classroom into an energising and practical career.

“We are very pleased to be supporting the EWIT Tools Skills Day at Corryong – where many of our Murray region staff live – through the Snowy Hydro Community Grants Program.”

The Tool Skills Day will be held in Corryong from 9.30am – 2.30pm on 7 September 2023. There will be hands-on EWIT workshops, an exploration of trades-based career pathways, the opportunity to chat one-on-one with ‘tradie ladies’ and more.  

Young local women interested in attending this fun, interactive event can register on the EWIT website. Places are limited, so get in quickly.

Local organisations can apply for funding from round two of the 2023 Snowy Hydro Community Grants Program. Applications open this month and must be submitted online via the Snowy Hydro website by 8 September.

All applications will be assessed against the program’s grants criteria – there is more information available on the website

Your proposed project or event must respond to a community need, provide tangible benefits to the community, strengthen the community by providing opportunities that align with Snowy Hydro’s community commitment pillars, demonstrate strong governance, foster strong and sustainable partnerships within the community and return value for investment.

**EWIT is an organisation that champions tradeswomen, diversity and gender equality. Its  mission is to transform the trades industry by empowering women and fostering a culture of inclusivity. EWIT works with education institutions and industry leaders to increase women’s participation in trades, provide opportunities for them to learn trade skills and assist them to thrive in the workforce.



Photo credit, Stars Foundation

Snowy Hydro is proud to announce a significant partnership with the Stars Foundation to support its new Tumut High School-based program that will deliver improved health, education and employment outcomes for local Indigenous girls and young women.

The three-year sponsorship for the inaugural Stars Foundation Tumut Program continues Snowy Hydro’s commitment to initiatives that support our local communities to develop and thrive.

Snowy Hydro CEO Dennis Barnes said the opportunity to assist the development of local Indigenous girls through the foundation’s intensive school-based mentoring was extremely important.

“This new sponsorship for the Stars Foundation will help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander girls in the Tumut region to realise their potential in all aspects of their development and wellbeing,” Dennis said. “We want to see these students shine.

“Snowy already has a successful partnership with the Clontarf Foundation in Tumut, which supports Indigenous boys to continue their schooling. 

“Enabling the Stars Foundation to deliver their mentoring and engagement programs to Indigenous young women in the same area is exciting for us.

“It’s not only about funding the Stars Foundation’s work – Snowy Hydro also has the chance to encourage students’ studies in science, technology engineering and maths (STEM) fields and highlight career pathways with Snowy through work experience, apprenticeships and traineeships.

“Snowy Hydro is a major employer and community supporter in the Snowy Mountains region, delivering many training and education opportunities, and we want to invest in the success of local people.

“We believe that by empowering these young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, Snowy Hydro is not only supporting students; but their families, communities and future generations.”

Established in 2015, the Stars Foundation provides a holistic mentoring program that supports more than 2,800 female First Nations students in primary and secondary schools across six states and territories. 

The Foundation’s key indicators have shown that through this program, there is an increase in school attendance (82% attendance) 13% higher than the Indigenous student average, resulting in over 90% of senior students completing Year 12 every year since Stars programs began. 85% of graduates successfully transition into further study or employment within six months of school completion.




July marked an exciting milestone for Snowy Hydro, the Snowy 2.0 project and for one of its three tunnel boring machines. Tunnel boring machine (TBM) Lady Eileen Hudson was the first machine to start tunnelling on the pumped-hydro mega project, the first to complete a tunnel and is now underway on her second tunnel excavation.

Snowy 2.0 senior project manager, Rodd Brinkman, is onsite at the Talbingo adit, where teams have been preparing to relaunch TBM Lady Eileen into the mountain.

The TBM will excavate the 6km tailrace tunnel to connect Talbingo Reservoir to the underground power station complex. Water used to generate 2,000 megawatts of power from Snowy 2.0 will flow out of the tailrace tunnel. Water also enters this tunnel when the power station is pumping.

After completing the 2.8km main access tunnel (MAT) in 2022, it has been a big task to disassemble and safely extract TBM Lady Eileen and reassemble her with new components before commissioning. The conveyor stacker, grout batch plant, and chiller plant were also relocated from the MAT portal to the Talbingo adit.

Before a TBM begins her journey underground, it is traditional for the machine and crew to be blessed for a safe journey under the watch of St Barbara, the patron saint of tunnelling and underground work. The tradition of blessing is acknowledged at tunnelling sites all over the world.

Local parish priest Father Mark Croker blessed the TBM at an onsite ceremony with many Snowy 2.0 workers in attendance. The machine was then switched on and began cutting the rock face. This is the fourth TBM launch for Snowy 2.0 and a major achievement for the Snowy Scheme expansion project.

TBM Construction Manager Derek Whelan manages all Snowy 2.0 tunnelling activities, as well as the TBM construction personnel. He was on-hand to run through Lady Eileen’s impressive components, including a new 378-tonne cutterhead.

The cutterhead is made up of 70 cutting discs each weighing 290 kilos that will excavate the varying geology of the 11-metre diameter tunnel. At 137 metres in length and weighing 2,300 tonnes, the TBM is a moving factory with many parts working together in a complex operation.

More than 27,000 concrete segments manufactured at the Polo Flat, Cooma, precast facility will be used to line the tailrace tunnel with the segment erector, segment feeder, segment cranes, and sophisticated grouting system all onboard the TBM.

The TBM is also equipped with a guidance system that provides data to the machine’s pilot, to the nearest millimetre. This information is mirrored above ground and monitored by Snowy 2.0’s construction and engineering teams. 

Snowy 2.0: Underpinning Australia’s transition to a renewable energy future





Successful ground stabilisation works and construction of a slurry treatment plant at Tantangara have been carried out by Snowy 2.0 teams prior to tunnel boring machine (TBM) Florence being able to restart excavation of the headrace tunnel.

Final commissioning tests are underway for the onsite slurry plant that means the dual-mode machine can switch from open excavation to a closed, pressurised mode. This method of excavation will enable stable excavation and efficient progress through softer ground conditions when required.

A significant testing regime has confirmed grouting and stabilisation of the loose material around TBM Florence has been effective. 

Additional stabilisation continues from the surface to solidify loose material above the machine and directly in front of the TBM cutterhead and the rock mass the machine is just short of.

We’re carrying out rotations of the cutterhead and minor advances of TBM Florence to ensure the machine is correctly positioned for final commissioning and to confirm the ground support activities are working.

Additionally we are working with NSW departments on environmental approvals for remediation of the surface depression above TBM Florence and to provide assurance that this will not reoccur. 

The plan is likely to go on public display in the coming weeks. 

The slurry treatment plant will process and separate materials used when the TBM is in closed excavation mode, including bentonite (an absorbent, swelling clay), which is placed into a tank and reused.




Snowy Hydro’s Kurt Wassink has been named the Riverina region’s 2023 Apprentice of the Year in the NSW Department of Training awards.

Snowy Hydro CEO Dennis Barnes congratulated Cooma local Kurt, who completed his Certificate III in Electrotechnology at TAFE NSW, on winning the prestigious award. 

“This is a wonderful achievement that underlines the quality of both our local employees and our long-standing apprentice program,” Dennis said.

“At Snowy we are committed to developing science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) expertise among our people, and nurturing the talent we have in the Snowy Mountains region.

“We are future focused and are proud to see our apprentice program is building STEM skills not only for our business, but for the energy industry and regional Australia.”

Snowy Hydro employs up to 25 apprentices annually. In 2023 we have 25 apprentices, six of whom are females and three are Clontarf Foundation graduates. Around 10% of our full time employees are in graduate, apprenticeship and trainee programs at any one time.

Kurt, who is now a qualified Snowy Hydro Maintenance Technician – Electrician working in Khancoban at our Murray 1 and 2 hydro power stations, will progress to the next stage of the NSW Training Awards which are held in Sydney later in the year. 

These awards honour and recognise outstanding achievement in the NSW vocational education and training sector.




Hundreds of students across 18 Snowy Mountains schools will benefit from Snowy Hydro’s inaugural Local School STEM Fund program. The 2023 funding has been allocated to both primary and secondary from public and private schools to provide students with hands-on interactive experiences, challenging their creativity and critical thinking.

Through the program, Snowy Hydro has supported a varied range of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) initiatives, including an aquaponics project, 3D printers, a First Nations Science Camp, upgrades to equipment in science classrooms, development of a robotics club, enhancement of resources, the establishment and expansion of school programs and clubs, and the launch of various projects such as a sustainable garden and a township design. 

Snowy Hydro CEO Dennis Barnes said the collaboration with local schools will encourage and promote problem-solving skills for students, both in and out of the classroom and assist their career pathways.

“The funding is just one example of Snowy Hydro’s ongoing commitment to education and development in support of STEM, particularly among our local communities,” Dennis said. 

The real-world application of STEM allows students to interact with the subject material and develop a diverse range of skill sets. By seeing the outcomes of STEM throughout their lives and assessing the outcomes for themselves, their schools, community and surrounding environments, a unique and engaging learning space is created. 

Dennis said he was proud to announce the Local School STEM fund was “supporting schools in 10 locations, providing approximately $160,000 of funding to contribute to the growth of local students.” 

The outcomes of the funded initiatives will assist students with the understanding of sustainability, combine ancient knowledge and modern technology, build on existing STEM skills, develop critical thinking, strengthen student confidence and promote the balance of research and design. 

To further engagement and involvement with education, Snowy Hydro is committed to continuing this beneficial program. The next round of applications will open in February 2024.

For more information about Snowy Hydro’s Local School STEM Fund visit:

Connect with us