Snowy 2.0 is entering an exciting phase as we build the largest single project that will help ensure Australia’s secure and reliable transition to renewable energy.

In this month’s project update Hamish Pryor, construction director for Snowy 2.0, provides an overview of the power station equipment manufacturing that is in full swing.

The bespoke Snowy 2.0 power station components are being fabricated with precision and skill at one of Voith Hydro’s global production facilities in Shanghai, China.

Voith Hydro is partnering with Snowy 2.0 to make the six pumped hydro units that will generate up to 2,200 megawatts of power for Australia’s electricity grid.

Voith has more than 150 years of experience in hydropower systems and its highly skilled team is developing efficient and reliable equipment that will support the 150-year design life of Snowy 2.0. 

At the Shanghai factory, every item that is manufactured for the project undergoes comprehensive quality checks and testing before being shipped to Australia.

Voith’s quality, research and development team in Germany works directly with its Shanghai engineering experts on design, manufacturing processes and quality control. The team also collaborates closely with the Snowy 2.0 project team in Australia.

Among the large components being manufactured are the 13 metre-wide spiral cases and the main inlet valves – each weighing 140 tonnes and 2.2 metres in diameter – and the 31-tonne runners.

The runner is the heart of a hydro power turbine – it’s the rotating element that drives the generator to produce electrical energy. Exceptional machining and highly specialised welding skills are used to fabricate the components.

In Voith’s state-of-the-art electrical workshop more than 2,700 stator bars – which will be connected to the transformers to deliver power produced in the generators – are being manufactured.

Snowy Hydro has team members based in Shanghai to conduct quality assurance activities and monitor progress, while specialist mechanical and electrical engineers attend factory acceptance testing.

Recently, the final acceptance test for the first unit runner was completed and celebrated with a photo in the workshop.

In the Snowy Mountains in NSW, the Snowy 2.0 delivery team is also creating water intakes at the Talbingo and Tantangara reservoirs. A 28-metre diameter, 250 metre-deep surge shaft is being built at Marica and will become one of the largest operating shafts in the world.

Tunnel boring machines excavating the Snowy 2.0 tunnels are lining them with locally-made concrete segments – we’ve manufactured almost 90,000 of them at the Cooma precast factory so far. And the underground power station cavern complex is underway, with drill and blast excavation.