19 October 2019
Seventy years ago we started something many people thought was impossible. The first blast near the township of Adaminaby in New South Wales marked the start of Australia’s greatest engineering achievement of the 20th century.
The grit, mateship and expertise of more than 100,000 men and women turned a bold vision into a reality. It’s hard to imagine Australia today without the mighty Snowy Scheme. The legacy of the Snowy extends well beyond the dams, tunnels and hydro stations to the incredible people behind the power.
Over the 25 years of construction, two thirds of the workforce came to Australia from war-torn Europe. They came to the Snowy in search of a better life and alongside the Aussies, helped build a nation. The Snowy Scheme is the birthplace of the culturally diverse society we know today, and with the Italians came one of the nation’s first espresso machines.
The project had its origins in the 1880s as a way to counter the disastrous effects of drought, by diverting the rivers of the Snowy Mountains westward to irrigate the fertile inland plains. Its hydro-electric power and irrigation water became the foundation of our modern economy.
The Snowy Scheme was one of the first renewable energy projects and continues to keep the lights on at times of peak energy demand.
Over the years, Snowy Hydro has grown into a dynamic energy company and remains a key pillar of the energy market, providing reliable and affordable renewable energy to households and businesses across the Eastern States.
In our 70th year, Snowy’s role in the energy market is more relevant than ever and we’re looking ahead to the next 100 years as we embark on our new chapter with Snowy 2.0.
As Australia moves to a low-carbon economy, there is a critical need for large-scale storage capacity and on-demand generation. Snowy 2.0 is the largest committed renewable energy project in Australia and will underpin the nation’s secure and stable transition to a low carbon emissions future at the lowest cost for consumers.
As we did many years ago, we are facing energy market challenges and Snowy 2.0 is a big part of the solution. As we reflect on the past, we’re building for the future. That’s the power of Snowy.