News

MILESTONE FOR LOCAL SNOWY 2.0 CONCRETE SEGMENT FACTORY

09/08/2022

Snowy Hydro’s Snowy 2.0 precast factory in Cooma has achieved an impressive milestone, with manufacturing completed for all concrete segments that will line the dry access tunnels.

More than 25,000 of these seven-tonne segments have been produced at the Polo Flat factory, which employs 120 people from the 2,100-strong Snowy 2.0 workforce. The segments are being used to line the main access tunnel and emergency, cable and ventilation tunnel at Lobs Hole.

In total, 36,000 or 27% of the 130,000-plus segments needed to line all of the Snowy 2.0 tunnels have now come off the Polo Flat production line, said Paul Broad, Snowy Hydro’s Managing Director and CEO.

“We’re proud to be manufacturing and investing locally, and providing employment opportunities for local people as well,” Mr Broad said. “The precast factory is operated by our principal contractor Future Generation Joint Venture and it is powering along.

“To efficiently and safely produce enough of these massive concrete segments to line the 5.6 kilometres of dry access tunnels is a terrific achievement.”

The factory supports the operation of the three Snowy 2.0 tunnel boring machines, which are excavating 27 kilometres of tunnels from Tantangara Reservoir to Talbingo Reservoir for the Snowy 2.0 pumped-hydro expansion of the Snowy Scheme.

The Polo Flat facility includes a concrete batching plant and segment manufacturing from two automated carousels, producing up to 24 rings, each one made of nine segments, per day.

Many of the raw materials like aggregates and sand are sourced from the local Schmidt Quarries at Mt Mary and Nimmitabel, which is reducing transport time and costs. Concrete is mixed within the batching plant, which is then transferred into the factory and poured into specially-designed moulds. 

With the use of innovative robotics, the moulds progress along the carousel as the segments cure and finish. There is an onsite laboratory and testing to check the quality of every segment produced.

Snowy 2.0 is leading the way in Australia to successfully deploy and use robots to automate the process of demoulding, cleaning and application of the release agent on the moulds, before pushing them through to the next production stage. This has allowed the factory to maintain a safe and low-noise working environment for workers. 

It takes approximately eight to 10 hours to cure and de-mould each segment from start to finish, then they are stored for about two weeks before being transported to site, loaded into TBMs and installed in the tunnels.

FAST FACTS – DRY TUNNEL SEGMENTS

  • Number produced = 25,210
  • Distance if all these segments were placed side-by-side = 86.3 kilometres
  • Tonnes of concrete used = 151,260
  • Equivalent rings (nine segments per ring) = 2,802
  • These segments – designed to provide durability under extreme fire loads – have been laboratory tested for fire loads of 1,350 degrees Celsius for up to 120 minutes.

Snowy 2.0 project background: Snowy 2.0 is a nation-building project that will underpin thousands of megawatts of renewables and will continue to keep the lights on for generations to come.

Snowy 2.0 will link two existing Snowy Scheme reservoirs, Tantangara and Talbingo, and its new  power station with six pump-turbines will be located about 800m underground. Water in the top storage will be released for energy generation at times of peak demand and pumped back at times when there is excess renewable energy in the grid, so Snowy 2.0 is ready to meet demand when needed.

News

SNOWY HYDRO’S ENERGY CRISIS RESPONSE

29/07/2022

As the energy crisis in the National Electricity Market (NEM) continues to unfold, Snowy Hydro is being called on more than ever to keep the lights on and prices down. Snowy’s role as the NEM’s ‘insurance policy’, providing on-demand energy generation during the crisis, has significantly impacted our business.

CEO and Managing Director Paul Broad said Snowy Hydro strongly rejected commentary suggesting it is to blame for recent high prices in the NEM.

“These comments misunderstand the cause of the energy crisis, as well as Snowy Hydro and the nature of its generation assets,” he said.

Snowy Hydro is a relatively small supplier of energy owing to the fact that its principal source of fuel (water) is limited. In most years Snowy Hydro supplies between 2-4% of the total energy generated in the NEM, operating at critical times of peak demand and when there are unplanned baseload outages. 

The current crisis has arisen due to shortfalls from suppliers of bulk energy, including coal, wind and solar. To help manage this shortfall, Snowy Hydro has operated its assets at record levels, effectively as a baseload generator. 

“To blame high prices on Snowy Hydro for stepping into the void left by bulk energy providers is absurd,” Mr Broad said.

“Were it not for the actions of Snowy, prices would have been significantly higher. Our teams have worked tirelessly and closely with AEMO, the market operator, throughout this challenging period.

“In May this year, generation from the Snowy Scheme was almost double the previous monthly record. This was essential for maintaining security of supply in the NEM, but it is not sustainable. 

“Snowy’s ability to operate in this manner is constrained by its fuel scarcity – we don’t have enough water to manage the ‘energy gap’ from other generators for extended periods,” Mr Broad said.

Snowy Hydro’s water resources must be carefully allocated to the highest value periods in order to keep the lights on. In other words, hydro generation has a high opportunity cost.

It is wrong to suggest that high prices could have been avoided, or that Snowy Hydro should have offered its generation at lower prices. Doing so would have caused our hydro assets to be dispatched ahead of other forms of generation with a cheaper cost of fuel. Not only would this not have made economic sense, it would have left the company unable to respond to critical demand peaks this winter and summer, further increasing the risk of blackouts.

The implication that Snowy Hydro enjoyed a financial windfall as a consequence of the crisis is also inaccurate. Most energy dispatched in the NEM is pre-sold to customers under short or long-term contracts. This is essential for stabilising the cash flow of generators and retailers and is part of the market design. It also means that a narrow focus on price outcomes in the NEM reveals little about generator profitability. 

The steps taken by Snowy Hydro to help keep the lights on – depleting its reserves of available water – have in fact been detrimental to the company’s financial and risk position. Snowy Hydro rejects any suggestion it has been ‘profiteering’ from the crisis, or has in any way exacerbated it. 
Snowy Hydro will remain focused on ensuring security of supply for the NEM during this challenging period.

News

SNOWY HYDRO AND APA SIGN TRANSPORT, STORAGE AND DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENTS FOR THE HUNTER POWER PROJECT

20/06/2022

Snowy Hydro today welcomed the announcement by APA Group that it had signed gas transport, storage and development agreements for the Hunter Power Project.

APA will construct, own and operate the Hunter Power Project’s gas pipeline connection to the Sydney -Newcastle pipeline, known as the Kurri Kurri Lateral, along with a 70 terajoule gas storage facility.

Snowy Hydro CEO Paul Broad said the Hunter Power Project would play a critical role in supplementing Snowy’s generation portfolio with dispatchable capacity when the needs of electricity consumers are highest.

“Along with Snowy 2.0, which is Australia’s largest committed renewable energy project, the Hunter Power Project will underpin thousands of megawatts of new wind and solar plants.

“The Hunter Power Project will be good for prices, by filling the gap in electricity demand and offsetting potential cost increases resulting from the closure of the Liddell Power Station.

“Today’s announcement is another significant milestone for the project and Snowy is looking forward to continuing to work closely with APA.

“The Hunter Power Project is on track and progressing well, with key milestones including naming CIMIC Group’s UGL as the Principal Contractor, as well as the signing of a major contract with Mitsubishi Power to deliver the hydrogen-ready open-cycle gas turbines.

“Snowy continues to take opportunities to turbo-charge local investment by the project. That’s why we’ve engaged a Hunter-based recruitment agency, engaged a local civil works contractor, established a Snowy Hydro site office at Kurri Kurri and mobilised a local workforce.”

News

SNOWY HYDRO SIGNS NEW RENEWABLE ENERGY DEAL

20/06/2022

Snowy Hydro is again expanding its renewable energy portfolio, signing a contract to purchase power and renewables certificates from a new CWP Renewables wind farm development in New South Wales.

The deal with the Uungula wind farm near Wellington is the 12th for Snowy Hydro, a leader in clean energy and Australia’s renewable energy transition.

Managing Director and CEO Paul Broad said the agreement to purchase 200 megawatts of Uungula’s output for a 15-year term supported Snowy Hydro’s commitment to providing affordable, reliable and clean energy to its commercial and industrial customers.

“Renewables are the future and by combining our contracted wind and solar projects with our on-demand hydro assets we can provide ‘firm’, secure, low-emissions energy to the market, while keeping the lights on,” Mr Broad said.

“This new deal with CWP Renewables is targeted to start in 2026 after construction of Uungula is completed and will increase the total energy that Snowy purchases from renewables projects to 4.1 terawatt hours each year.”
CWP Renewables CEO Jason Willoughby welcomed the second partnership with Snowy Hydro and said the agreement confirmed the ongoing demand for renewables.

“At 414 megawatts, Uungula will be our largest wind farm to date and provide enough clean electricity to power more than 200,000 homes,” Mr Willoughby said. “It’s great to have Snowy Hydro on-board as a foundation offtaker for the project, which in turn helps us continue to develop our pipeline of renewable projects.”

CWP Renewables currently operates and owns 650MW of renewable energy assets in the National Electricity Market and has another 5GW of wind, storage and firming projects in its near-medium term development portfolio. Snowy Hydro already partners with CWP Renewables through an offtake agreement for power from its Bango wind farm, north of Yass.

“We are pleased to be working again with CWP Renewables and growing our clean energy business,” Mr Broad said. “This partnership is another example of Snowy Hydro securing greater investment in renewables across Australia, which is a win-win for everyone.”

Uungula Wind Farm has received development approval and construction is planned to start this year, supporting more than 260 jobs.

News

ANAO REPORT: SNOWY 2.0 GOVERNANCE OF EARLY IMPLEMENTATION

17/06/2022

Snowy Hydro welcomes the ANAO’s findings that the Company’s governance of the project is effective, with no recommendations raised.

Specifically, the audit concluded that Snowy Hydro has appropriate arrangements in place to govern, monitor and report on the project; including in relation to managing the Engineering, Procurement & Construction contract with our principal contractor Future Generation JV.

From the outset, Snowy Hydro established tailored governance arrangements to oversee the development and implementation of this critical energy infrastructure project.

It is pleasing that the effectiveness of these arrangements have been independently assessed by the ANAO, with no material exceptions identified.

To read the full ANAO report please click here.

News

SNOWY HYDRO SNOW DEPTH MEASUREMENT 2022

17/06/2022

Snowy Hydro collects snow depth readings at a number of designated snow courses across the Snowy Mountains of NSW as required for operational purposes. Spencer’s Creek snow course is the most recognisable of these locations as it is often cited by nearby ski resorts as a proxy for the ‘natural snow depth’. Deep Creek and Three Mile Dam are also recorded and reported on Snowy Hydro’s website

The information gathered by Snowy Hydro is primarily used as an input into seasonal forecasts for inflow to the Snowy Scheme. With advances in technology and different methodologies employed, the need for manually measured snow depth readings at designated snow courses is in decline, particularly in the early part of the snow season where precipitation is typically adding to the snow pack more so than contributing to inflows.

In parallel, safety is Snowy Hydro’s number one priority. By reducing the frequency of snow depth readings, we reduce the need to send staff to remote locations in poor winter weather conditions. This means we can schedule this work to occur when conditions are safest to do so.

Snowy Hydro commenced monitoring in mid-June 2022. We will take readings on an as-needed basis. This is likely to result in irregular updates, and less frequently than has been observed in the past. Snowy Hydro will continue to update its website after each snow depth reading is collected.

News

SNOWY HYDRO WATER RELEASES FROM TUMUT 3 POWER STATION

03/06/2022

Snowy Hydro is the largest supplier of on-demand energy generation in NSW, by capacity. The company also has an important role in capturing and storing water in the Snowy Scheme, which helps manage and regulate inflows for the benefit of downstream water users.

The National Electricity Market (NEM), especially NSW, is currently experiencing above-average outages from coal power stations and low levels of reserve energy capacity.

  • There is an energy crisis in the National Electricity Market (NEM) unfolding and Snowy Hydro is being called on more than ever to keep the lights on.
  • To provide this essential service to the NEM, Snowy Hydro must release water from the Snowy Scheme.
  • Snowy Hydro is the largest supplier of on-demand energy generation in NSW, by capacity and Tumut 3 Power Station, with a generation capacity of 1,800 megawatts, is a significant contributor. 
  • Snowy Hydro has been working closely with WaterNSW to manage storages during these challenging conditions. 
  • Generation from Tumut 3 Power Station is significantly constrained by the current storage levels in Blowering Reservoir and the release capacity of the Tumut River.
  • In order to meet the predicted energy demands, it is possible Blowering Reservoir will fill and spill, potentially exceeding the Tumut River channel capacity.
  • In this scenario, there is potential for the inundation of low-level causeways and water breaking out of the river channel onto agricultural land adjacent to the river. 

For the community, the most important message is to stay safe and well-informed.

The public can stay updated about flood alerts here:

More information

News

DRIVING HOME ROAD SAFETY TO THE NEXT GENERATION

13/05/2022

Snowy Hydro is committed to ensuring the next generation of locals are equipped with the skills and knowledge to help keep them safe on the roads, with the long-running Young Driver Program playing a crucial role.

For four years Snowy Hydro has partnered with Driving Solutions to provide local students with young driver training. This month more than 275 local young people participated in the program, which helps prepare Learner and Provisional drivers for the driving conditions they face on Snowy Mountains roads.

Since its inception in 2002, the Snowy Hydro Young Driver Program has provided more than 1,600 local students with the opportunity to improve their driving skills and become safer drivers.

Snowy Hydro CEO and Managing Director Paul Broad said the program demonstrated Snowy Hydro’s continued commitment to the safety and well-being of young people living in the Snowy Mountains region. 

“The Snowy Hydro Young Driver Program delivers learning exercises and activities that give our local kids the skills and knowledge to help keep them safe on our unique and at times, challenging, mountain roads,” Mr Broad said.

“These young and inexperienced drivers gain so much from the program – it’s really valuable and we at Snowy Hydro are proud to play a part in ensuring greater safety on the roads where we live and work.”

The program covered topics such as correct seating position and the importance of understanding the difference between vehicles with anti-lock brake systems (ABS) and vehicles without ABS. Students were taught when to fit snow chains on their vehicles while travelling in snow and ice conditions. They were also shown the correct way to use and fit snow chains on a vehicle. 
The activities and exercises provided useful and practical knowledge to assist the students when behind the wheel. Topics included driver attitudes and the effects of distractions when driving, such as mobile phones, passengers and vehicle navigation. Other practical skills were also discussed including how to understand correct and incorrect tyre pressure on their vehicles. 

News

SNOWY HYDRO’s SNOWY 2.0 IS POWERING HEAD – FIND OUT MORE!

09/05/2022

With work on Snowy 2.0 powering ahead and three huge tunnel boring machines now in operation, now is a great time for community members to discover more about Australia’s largest committed renewable energy project at local information sessions being held throughout the Snowy Mountains.

Snowy Hydro will host the Snowy 2.0 community information sessions starting from Tuesday 10 May, providing locals with opportunities to be updated, ask questions and provide feedback.

Hear from the Snowy 2.0 project team about:

  • Current project activities and news;
  • Traffic management and road safety initiatives;
  • Accommodation, recreation access and other local issues; 
  • Jobs and training on Snowy 2.0.

Snowy Hydro CEO Paul Broad said construction of the Snowy 2.0 pumped-hydro expansion of the mighty Snowy Scheme was providing significant economic and social benefits right across the region.

“There are 1,800 people employed on Snowy 2.0 and tens of millions of dollars are being invested locally, so it continues to be a very exciting time for communities throughout the Snowy Mountains,” Mr Broad said.

“I encourage everyone to come along to one of our sessions to hear the latest about Snowy 2.0 and learn more about all of the training and work opportunities with the project. 

“We’re keen to hear your views about Snowy 2.0, discuss any local concerns that you may have and answer your questions.”

Run by Snowy Hydro, the sessions will be attended by representatives from Future Generation, the joint venture partnership managing Snowy 2.0 jobs, procurement and subcontracting.

There will be a formal presentation and Q&As at the sessions, plus the chance to speak one-on-one with project team members while enjoying light refreshments. 

Community information sessions schedule:

Date Town and locationTime
Tuesday 10 May 
Wednesday 11 May 
Cooma Ex-Services Club
Adaminaby Bowling Club
6-7.30pm
6-7.30pm
Tuesday 17 May 
Wednesday 18 May  
Thursday 19 May
Cafe Nest, Tumbarumba
Club Tumut
Talbingo Country Club
6-7.30pm
6-7.30pm
6-7.30pm
News

SNOWY HYDRO DRIVING INCREASED NSW POLICE HIGHWAY PATROLS

28/04/2022

A new road safety commitment between Snowy Hydro and NSW Police is increasing highway patrols in the Snowy Mountains over the coming three years.

Two highway patrol vehicles and five more police officers are now available for patrols on the Snowy Mountains Highway and other local roads – including one new four-wheel drive highway patrol vehicle and two new police officers that have been co-funded by Snowy Hydro and NSW Police.

The other resources have been redeployed to the area from across the Southern Region Traffic and Highway Patrol Command.

Snowy Hydro CEO Paul Broad said the company’s support for NSW Police’s local road safety operations would benefit all road users.

“Safety is, and always will be, the highest priority for Snowy Hydro,” Mr Broad said. “We are proud to be supporting this joint initiative with NSW Police to increase highway patrols throughout the Snowy Mountains. These are the communities in which we live, work and serve.”

Mr Broad said the commitment complemented Snowy Hydro’s recent collaboration with the NSW government to boost mobile phone coverage along the Snowy Mountains Highway.

The $1.3 million joint funding has delivered new small cell antennas at three priority sites between Talbingo and Adaminaby, with installations at two more sites – Tantangara Road and Lobs Hole Ravine Road – soon to go live.

“This is a great outcome for community safety, with these important initiatives focusing on roads used by hundreds of thousands of people, including locals, tourists, workers and the transport industry,” he said.

The additional police presence aims to act as a deterrent to poor driver behaviour on the Snowy Mountains Highway and other roads including Link and Goat Ridge roads. It also provides extra capacity for police undertaking highway patrol functions including alcohol and drug testing, checking heavy vehicle compliance and timely emergency response.

For more information about Snowy 2.0 visit snowyhydro.com.au

ENDS

News

JINDABYNE LAKE LEVELS – Updated 12 April 2022

12/04/2022

High inflows to the Snowy Scheme, including Jindabyne catchment, have been ongoing since November.

Based on operational forecasts, if left unmitigated, Lake Jindabyne would reach full supply level (100%) and commence spilling within a week. To avoid uncontrolled spill, Snowy Hydro will again make pre-releases into the Snowy River below Jindabyne Dam from Tuesday 12 April 2022.

Pre-releases will be greater than the environmental releases notified on Snowy Hydro’s website and may change at short notice in response to the weather conditions. Releases could reach flow rates up to 3,000 megalitres per day, similar to the rates that have been released at other times in the past five months.

The outlook as we head towards winter is for wet conditions to continue. Snowy Hydro will continue to pump water from Jindabyne to Geehi Reservoir to be released through Murray 1 and 2 Power stations into the upper Murray River at every opportunity. Further releases to the Snowy River may still be required to avoid uncontrolled releases.

If Lake Jindabyne reaches 100%, it will trigger operation of the spillway gates. Dam safety is paramount at this time and the spillway gates will automatically release water at any time the storage reaches or exceeds 100%.
For the community, the most important message is to stay safe and well-informed. The public can stay updated about flood alerts here:
Bureau of Meteorology
NSW State Emergency Service and
Vic Emergency
For more information about releases into the Snowy River visit
https://www.snowyhydro.com.au/generation/live-data/lake-levels/ and
https://dpie.nsw.gov.au/water/home
Snowy Hydro will continue to keep the community informed about management of water in Lake Jindabyne through its website and social media channels.
DPE Water will engage with landowners subscribed to its SMS service.

News

University of Sydney to be powered by 100% renewable electricity new partnership with Snowy Hydro and Red Energy 

06/04/2022

 From 1 July 2022 the University of Sydney will be powered by 100 percent renewable electricity. 

The University has signed a five-year contract with Red Energy, backed by the  mighty Snowy Hydro, to source 100 percent of its electricity in NSW from renewable  sources. Once the contract begins, the University’s activities will be powered by solar  energy. 

As well as operations across campuses and University-run student accommodation,  the contract will cover energy supply for Moore College, Sancta Sophia College, St  Andrew’s College, St Paul’s College, the Women’s College and Wesley College. The  positive impact will be in excess of removing 31,200 cars from the road. 

The move brings the University a step closer to its target of net zero emissions by  2030.

Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Mark Scott said the shift to renewable  electricity reflected the University’s deep commitment to a more sustainable future. 

“We are making the move to 100 percent renewable electricity three years before our  target of 2025,” he said. 

“This agreement will power our research and teaching while reducing emissions. We  are delighted to be working together with Snowy Hydro and Red Energy to achieve  the ambitious energy targets set out in our sustainability strategy. 

“We know reducing emissions to combat climate change is a priority for our staff and  students and we are committed to embedding sustainability in every aspect of  University life.” 

Paul Broad, Managing Director and CEO of Snowy Hydro, which owns Red Energy,  welcomed the partnership and the role it will play as Australia’s economy  decarbonises and transitions to renewables. 

“At Snowy Hydro, we have lived, breathed and delivered renewable energy to  Australians through the mighty Snowy Scheme for generations. We are committed to  continuing this legacy and leading the charge to a renewable energy future by  working with large institutions like the University of Sydney. 

“Combining our contracted wind and solar energy with our on-demand hydro assets  allows us to provide reliable and 100 percent renewable electricity to the University.” 

The switch to renewable electricity is one of a range of initiatives under the  University’s sustainability strategy. The institution has committed to sending zero  waste to landfill by 2030 and to the eradication of single-use plastic on campus by  2025. 

The University is working to integrate sustainable practices across operations,  teaching and research, with steps including the Gelion solar smart bench roll-out last  year and the recent installation of a biodigester to process organic waste into  compost. 

How University’s renewable energy supply will work 

Power consumed by the University of Sydney will be matched by generation from a  NSW solar farm or, in certain instances, other renewable facilities in the state. The  associated Large Scale Generation Certificates will be surrendered by Red Energy  to evidence that renewable generation has been exported into the National Electricity  Market at quantities equivalent to the University’s load.

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