Snowy Hydro and members of the local community have today come together to celebrate the commissioning of the third and final tunnel boring machine (TBM) for Snowy 2.0, Australia’s largest renewable energy project.
The 143 metre-long TBM Florence is one of a trio of technologically-advanced machines excavating more than 27 kilometres of waterway tunnels as part of Snowy 2.0, the huge pumped-hydro expansion of the iconic Snowy Mountains Scheme that is ensuring Australia’s secure and reliable transition to renewables.
Snowy Hydro Managing Director and CEO Paul Broad joined Snowy Mountains community members and representatives from Snowy 2.0 principal contractor Future Generation Joint Venture for a celebration event and ribbon-cutting at Tantangara, where TBM Florence is being launched to excavate the headrace tunnel.
Mr Broad said it was a wonderful experience sharing a significant project milestone with the community, former Snowy Scheme workers and local school children and businesses.
“We want to thank the local community for their support. It’s great knowing that this massive project is delivering thousands of jobs, many training and apprenticeship opportunities for workers, and a major economic boost for the Snowy Mountains region and beyond,” Mr Broad said.
“The progress we’re making on Snowy 2.0 is terrific. The other two TBMs, Lady Eileen Hudson and Kirsten, are already powering ahead excavating the main access tunnel and emergency, cable and ventilation tunnel at Lobs Hole, so we’re delighted to be starting this very long and deep headrace tunnel from Tantangara.
“Watching TBM Florence’s big blue cutterhead spin today alongside people who helped build the original Scheme highlights the pride we at Snowy Hydro have in our pioneering past and how exciting the renewable energy future is with Snowy 2.0.”
There are almost 1,800 people currently working on Snowy 2.0, including hundreds of locals, with the project generating about 4,000 direct jobs and many more in the supply chain.
Snowy 2.0 will deliver 2,000 megawatts of pumping and generating capacity and 175 hours of storage – enough to power 500,000 homes simultaneously – which will underpin thousands of megawatts of intermittent renewables.
Named after Australia’s first female electrical engineer, Florence Violet McKenzie (1890-1982), TBM Florence is set to excavate 14.9 kilometres of the 17km headrace tunnel. The 11-metre diameter Herrenknecht-designed machine has been purposely designed to manage hazardous dust and poor ground conditions while tunnelling up to 450 metres underground.
TBM Florence was named by local Berridale student Riley Douch as part of the Snowy 2.0 Tunnel Boring Machine Naming Competition, which highlighted ground-breaking Australian women in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).
For more information about Snowy 2.0 visit snowyhydro.com.au