News

Keeping the lights on for generations to come

26/02/2019

At Snowy, we have a proud history and a strong vision. Snowy Hydro, supercharged by Snowy 2.0, will underpin Australia’s renewable energy future and keep the lights on for generations to come.

Almost 70 years after the first sod was turned on the mighty Snowy Scheme, we will do it all again. Today, after consideration of our Board’s Final Investment Decision, we welcome Shareholder approval of Snowy 2.0.

“It’s an exciting time for our Company,” Snowy Hydro CEO Paul Broad said. “Snowy 2.0, like the original Snowy Scheme, is a nation building project that is vital to Australia’s economy and our energy transition.

“This significant expansion of the Snowy Scheme will provide the storage and on-demand generation needed to balance the growth of wind and solar power and the retirement of Australia’s ageing fleet of thermal power stations. In short, it will keep our energy system secure.

“Snowy 2.0 is not only a sound business investment for Snowy Hydro with over 8% return on investment. It also represents the most cost-effective way to ensure a reliable, clean power system for the future.

“When it is completed, Snowy 2.0 will be able to deliver 2000MW of on-demand generation, up to 175 hours of storage, and deliver more competition that will keep downward pressure on prices.

“We are committed to continuing to grow our portfolio of assets, to maximise competition in the National Electricity Market (NEM) and deliver more value to consumers,” Mr Broad said.

Last year Snowy Hydro contracted 888 megawatts (MW) of wind and solar projects which gave us incredible insights into energy pricing. This process confirmed many of the assumptions of Snowy 2.0’s business case, including that the National Electricity Market (NEM) has passed a tipping point. New renewables are now the most economic form of new generation, even when firmed by hydro or gas.

Snowy Hydro existing fast-start assets, and increased capacity with Snowy 2.0, will firm up large amounts of intermittent renewables by coming in and out of the system to ‘fill the gaps’ by generating energy at times of peak demand.

Snowy Hydro has a strong track record when it comes to pumped-hydro. For decades we’ve been successfully operating our pumping capability at Tumut 3 and that has been invaluable, especially in years of drought.

Snowy Hydro is the fourth-largest energy player in the NEM, providing much-needed competition in the market. Snowy 2.0, along with other developments, is adding to a portfolio that operates efficiently and reliably in a highly unpredictable NEM to maximise competition and drive the best outcomes for consumers.

Snowy 2.0 Exploratory Works will start immediately. The project is expected to generate up to 5000 jobs over the life of the project.

News

Snowy Hydro appoints preferred tenderers for Snowy 2.0

18/01/2019

Snowy Hydro has appointed Australian and global experts in construction, engineering and hydropower as preferred tenderers for the Snowy 2.0 project, following extensive competitive tender processes over the last 18 months.

The preferred tenderer for the civil works is Future Generation, a partnership between Australian construction and engineering company, Clough, and global hydropower and tunnelling specialists, Salini Impregilo.

World leader in hydropower engineering and equipment supply, Voith Hydro is the preferred electrical and mechanical tenderer and will deliver the latest hydro-generation technology in the new power station.

Australian company Leed Engineering has also been awarded the contract for exploratory works pre-construction activities.

Contracts are currently being finalised, with contract execution subject to Shareholder approval of the project.

This is another important step towards the commencement of the project. Snowy 2.0 is a world-leading pumped-hydro project that, with the existing Snowy Scheme, will underpin the stability of the energy market as more renewable energy enters the system.

News

Snowy 2.0 approved by the Board

12/12/2018

Today, the independent Board of Snowy Hydro Limited approved a final investment decision to proceed with Snowy 2.0, subject to Shareholder approval.

Snowy 2.0 is a pumped-hydro expansion of the existing Snowy Scheme, providing 2000 megawatts (MW) of on-demand generation and 350,000MW hours of large-scale energy storage.

After almost two years of rigorous due diligence on every aspect of the Project, including detailed financial analysis and ongoing geotechnical drilling, the Board is confident Snowy 2.0 is a strong investment for the Company.

The Board has informed the Shareholder of its decision to proceed with Snowy 2.0 subject to Shareholder approval. Further Project information will be released following Shareholder approval.

Find out more about Snowy 2.0 here.

News

Snowy 2.0 Declared Critical State Significant Infrastructure

09/03/2018

Snowy Hydro welcomes the New South Wales Government’s decision to declare Snowy 2.0 as a Critical State Significant Infrastructure (CSSI) project.

The declaration signifies the critical role that the Snowy 2.0 project, together with the upgrades to the NSW transmission network, will play in providing reliable energy and large-scale storage to NSW as we transition to a low emissions economy.

Snowy 2.0’s generation and large-scale storage capabilities, along with the existing Snowy Scheme, will continue to underpin the stability and reliability of the NEM as more intermittent renewables enter the market.

The CSSI declaration is not final approval for the project.  It is a framework that sets out the robust environmental assessment and approval process that is required for the Snowy 2.0 project.

Paul Broad, CEO of Snowy Hydro said that the CSSI declaration gives the company a very clear and transparent process to follow.

“Like any other project, we are preparing comprehensive Environmental Impact Statements which will include a range of scientific and technical studies to be carefully scrutinised by the NSW Government.

“We have the greatest respect for the Kosciuszko National Park. It’s  our backyard and for almost 70 years we have been excellent responsible environment managers operating the existing Scheme across the region.

“The project’s design is being done in a way that minimises its environmental footprint.  This includes putting the majority of the physical structures, such as tunnels and the powerstation deep underground”, Mr Broad said.

The EIS will detail the components of the project, the potential environmental, social and economic impacts of Snowy 2.0 and how to best manage them.  As part of the EIS, we will undertake thorough community consultation so that the wider community can have input into the process. The EIS will also be published for public comment.

Under the CSSI process and in accordance with the NSW Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979, Snowy Hydro will submit an EIS for assessment by the Department of Planning and Environment, in consultation with other key agencies such as the National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Environment Protection Agency.  

News

Snowy 2.0 Feasibility Study Delivered

20/12/2017

Snowy Hydro’s independent Board of Directors has approved the Snowy 2.0 feasibility study, and for further work to be undertaken for the project to progress to a final investment decision in 2018.

The feasibility study released today confirms that the Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro expansion project is both technically and financially feasible.  The comprehensive study provides a base case design and a strong investment case that exceeds Snowy Hydro’s stringent investment hurdles, with significant input from leading experts in economics, engineering and geology.

Snowy Hydro’s CEO, Paul Broad, said that progressing Snowy 2.0 was a strategic business decision and the projected return on investment would enable the company to fund the project.

“Snowy Hydro already plays a critical role in keeping the lights on but Snowy 2.0 would supercharge our existing capabilities by adding an additional 2,000 megawatts of dispatchable generation and 350,000 megawatt hours of large-scale storage.

“Snowy 2.0 will underpin the security and reliability of the National Electricity Market (NEM) as we transition to a low emissions future, at least cost to consumers.

“As coal-fired generation retires and renewables continue to grow, Snowy 2.0’s scale and central location will provide secure and reliable energy generation and the necessary large-scale storage to prevent blackouts and lower future energy prices.

“Snowy 2.0 is a strategic long-term investment in the NEM that will firm up future wind and solar generation.  Intermittent renewables underpinned by Snowy 2.0 is a combination that could replace baseload generation when coal-fired power stations retire,” Mr Broad said.

The feasibility study outlines:

  • A strong investment case for the project and funding strategies.
  • A base case technical design, to be further refined as the project moves to final investment decision.
  • The independent estimation of costs between $3.8 – $4.5 billion, which takes into account the need for extensive reinforcement of the project’s structures due to the challenging geological conditions that were uncovered during the geotechnical drilling program.
  • If Snowy 2.0 is not built, the NEM would need a combination of batteries and gas peaking stations to meet future energy needs.  This would cost at least twice as much as Snowy 2.0.
  • A project schedule that will see the first power generated from Snowy 2.0 in late 2024, in time to meet market needs.

“Completing this study is a significant and exciting milestone for us but it’s only just the beginning. The sheer size of Snowy 2.0 makes it a complex and significant project that will put the Snowy Mountains back in the global spotlight,” Mr Broad said.

Between now and final investment decision, Snowy Hydro will undertake further work including additional geotechnical drilling, issuing project tenders, finalising funding for the project and working through well established and rigorous environmental and planning approval processes.

The project will also boost economic activity across the Snowy Mountains from employment opportunities across the supply chain and in supporting services.

Snowy Hydro would like to acknowledge the work of our lead study engineer SMEC Australia and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency for their contributions to the study.

The feasibility study and more information on the project can be found on our website here.

To watch a video on the project click here.

News

Visitors in Cooma ahead of drilling for Snowy 2.0 commencing

28/06/2017

The Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Parliamentary Secretary Bronnie Taylor visited Cooma today ahead of investigative drilling commencing for Snowy 2.0.

Snowy Hydro Limited CEO Paul Broad and Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation (SMEC) CEO Andy Goodwin provided a Snowy 2.0 update and showcased one of the drill rigs.

Mr Broad said the investigative drilling, which is expected to commence next month after all approvals, is a critical milestone for the Snowy 2.0 feasibility study.

“The drilling will provide us with detailed geotechnical information about the rock formations, strength and structure of the area where the tunnels between the Tantangara and Talbingo reservoirs and underground power station will be located.”

“The core holes will be drilled in key locations so that we have a very clear picture of the geology and can better plan and cost the project.” Mr Broad said.

The geotechnical information collected through this process will be shared with research and education institutions for science and research purposes.

The Prime Minister, Deputy Premier and Parliamentary Secretary’s visit was also an opportunity for Snowy Hydro and SMEC to bring together their local project teams to celebrate the reopening of the SMEC office in Cooma.

SMEC’s CEO Andy Goodwin said the reopening of their Cooma office and work on the Snowy 2.0 feasibility study will continue to generate economic activity in the region.

“It’s great to be working on such a iconic hydropower project with Snowy Hydro that reflects on our namesake and history. For SMEC this is an opportunity to bring back our local people with global experience to contribute to the legacy for the next generation.

“The Feasibility Study will generate more than 250 jobs across professional services, construction and administrative support and if Snowy 2.0 goes ahead we expect to create about 5000 jobs over the life of the build,” Mr Goodwin said.

The Snowy 2.0 Feasibility Study will be completed by the end of this year.

Snowy Hydro is proud to provide secure, stable and reliable renewable energy to households and businesses. If built, Snowy 2.0 would increase the generation capacity by up to 50 per cent, making up to 2000 megawatts available to the National Electricity Market.

News

Snowy Hydro briefs industry on Snowy 2.0

15/06/2017

Snowy Hydro Limited (SHL) held an industry briefing in Sydney today for a large group of representatives of leading construction and engineering firms on the Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro project.

The industry briefing was told that SHL’s feasibility study was in full swing, with plans in place for geotechnical tests to begin shortly. While it was still early days, the company felt optimistic about the viability of the project and all going well, construction could begin in 2018, subject to the outcomes of the feasibility study.

SHL CEO Paul Broad told the briefing that the Finkel Review’s recommendations of a new Clean Energy Target and Regional Security Obligation offered major opportunities for the Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro project.

Mr Broad said there would be a strong increase in the use of intermittent power in the market – wind and solar – that would require reliable and rapid back-up supply of renewable energy. Snowy 2.0 would help further strengthen the critical role that SHL currently plays in ensuring system security and reliability.

“We are already the largest and most reliable battery storage option for the National Electricity Market. With Snowy 2.0, we will be able to provide an extra 2,000 MW of new renewable capacity and provide increased energy security and stability. This will be crucial as Australia transitions to a low-emissions economy over the next 20 to 30 years,” Mr Broad said.

Mr Broad said the importance of the Snowy 2.0 project was apparent from the participation today by key representatives of leading global and local civil engineering, tunnelling and electrical experts.

“There was strong support for the project from the leading industry players who attended the briefing today, and who are keen to partner with us to deliver this exciting project.There has been nothing like this in Australia since Snowy was completed in the 1970s and we want the best people available to assist us,” Mr Broad said.

Snowy Hydro advised industry that it would be undertaking a three-stage process to procure two packages of services, with one covering civil works and the other electrical/mechanical works.
Expressions of Interest would be called for shortly, with selected suppliers to be shortlisted for an Early Contractor Consultation Phase by late July.

Snowy Hydro Media Enquiries:
Simon Troeth

0439 300 335

e: Simon.Troeth@newgatecomms.com.au

News

Snowy Hydro welcomes Finkel Review

09/06/2017

Snowy Hydro Limited welcomes the support of the Finkel Review of pumped hydro as a key to energy security as it focuses on recommendations aimed at strengthening reliability in the National Electricity Market.

Snowy Hydro CEO Paul Broad said the Snowy 2.0 project would play a key role in both ensuring security of supply and backing up the expected big increase in intermittent supplies – wind and power – in the market.

The report states on p33 that “Battery and pumped hydro storage will be able to support a reliable and secure NEM, as and when they are deployed at scale.”

Mr Broad said the Finkel Review had identified the need to guarantee back-up to any new intermittent power supply projects.

“Snowy 2.0 fulfils the objectives of the Finkel Review on energy security, in that it can uniquely provide the largest scale and affordable storage of renewable energy to support the reliable and secure power supply that is needed for Australia to move safely to a low emissions economy”, Mr Broad said.

“The Finkel review rightly points to the importance of pumped hydro as an essential back-up to intermittent wind and power to protect consumers and business, and ensure we don’t face the catastrophic supply failures that we have seen in South Australia.”

Snowy Hydro also supports market-based mechanisms to achieve the Government’s commitment to climate change targets, as well as stable and long term policy certainty. We will be actively engaging with relevant bodies to implement policies which best meet the energy trilemma of market efficiency, energy security and emission reductions.

Snowy Hydro Media Enquiries:

Simon Troeth

0439 300 335

e: Simon.Troeth@newgatecomms.com.au

www.snowyhydro.com.au

News

Snowy Hydro and SMEC reunite for Snowy 2.0

11/05/2017

Snowy Hydro Limited and the Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation Australia (SMEC) will join forces once again, this time to carry out the feasibility study into the potential expansion of the Snowy Scheme’s pumped hydro storage capability.

Snowy Hydro and SMEC have a long association and worked together from the earliest days to develop the iconic 4,100 megawatt (MW) Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme under the auspices of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Authority, established in 1949.

Selected through a tender competitive process which attracted interest from a field of world-class engineering firms, SMEC has now been appointed as the lead consultant engineer for the feasibility study into the first major expansion of the Scheme since construction days.

Snowy Hydro CEO Paul Broad said “SMEC was the obvious choice to partner with us on the study, given we share the same DNA. It really is a case of getting the band back together. The task now will be to bring together our best and brightest to revisit some of the visionary proposals developed over many years by the talented men and women who built the Scheme.”

The feasibility study will first review existing proposals to expand pumped hydro storage on the Snowy Scheme, many of which have existed since the 1960s. Under the most prospective proposal, up to 2,000 MW of hydro-electric energy could be added to the grid to act as rapid response back-up during periods of high demand and fill the gaps in energy supply caused by the growth in intermittent renewables and the exit of thermal baseload power.

The pumped hydro capability means the water utilised for electricity generation can be recycled to provide supply when it’s needed most, with no impact on the Scheme’s ability to continue to supply valuable water to irrigators in the food bowl of south-eastern Australia.

“This project has the potential to deliver one of the largest pumped hydro schemes in the world and underscores the importance of the Scheme’s existing role as the battery of the National Electricity Market.”

“While it has long been an Australian engineering icon, the importance of the Snowy Scheme’s role as the battery storage of the NEM will only become more critical as we move to a low carbon economy. The reliable, fast-start Scheme can help to responsibly manage the exit of baseload thermal power and the rise of intermittent renewables.

“As we move through the feasibility study phase, we will gain greater clarity around the technical and engineering requirements for the expansion as well as costs and timeframes for its construction”, Mr Broad said.

SMEC CEO Andy Goodwin said “Snowy Mountains are part of our namesake and the backbone of our heritage, so the chance to be involved in this project again is a unique ‘twice-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity, both for our organisation and those engineers who worked on the original scheme.

The Snowy 2.0 project will provide us with new design challenges from its predecessor and we’ve created a team of our most experienced specialists to deliver the feasibility stage.

We’re honoured to be part of the project and looking forward to resuming our presence within the Cooma community again.”

SMEC’s appointment will deliver significant benefits to the local Snowy Mountains community. As part of its commitment to this project, SMEC will reopen its previous offices in Cooma, which will see more than 30 staff permanently based in the town.

News

Expanding Pumped Hydro Storage

15/03/2017

The iconic Snowy Scheme’s role as the battery of the National Electricity Market (NEM) could be supercharged as part of plans to expand the pumped hydro storage capability within the Scheme.
Snowy Hydro, working with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), will shortly commence a feasibility study into several sites across the Scheme which could support new large-scale, pumped hydro-electric energy storage.

The proposal could add up to 2000 megawatts of new renewable energy to the NEM and act as rapid response back-up to fill the gaps in energy supply caused by intermittent renewables and generator outages.

The pumped hydro capability means the water utilised for electricity generation can be recycled to give continuous supply when it’s needed most, with no impact on the Scheme’s ability to continue to supply valuable water to irrigators in the food bowl of Australia.

Snowy Hydro Managing Director and CEO, Paul Broad, said the proposal has the potential to deliver an innovative clean-energy solution to the critical security and supply issues in the NEM, helping to take the pressure off power prices for consumers and businesses, while reducing emissions.

“From our earliest days, Snowy Hydro has been moving water to support the irrigators in the food bowl of Australia and generating electricity during peak demands to keep the lights on in the NEM,” Mr Broad, said.

“The creators of the Scheme foresaw a time when its capabilities may need to be expanded and, as a result, there are very real options in-built in the Scheme’s design to extract more value to the community.

“At a time when the security and stability of the NEM, energy affordability and emissions reduction are under scrutiny, there is an opportunity to leverage the iconic Snowy Scheme to once again deliver an energy solution for the country.

“By supercharging the utilisation of the Snowy Scheme’s storage, we can help the NEM best cope with peak demand through new supply at a time when baseload energy is exiting the market and renewables with intermittent generation are not providing the reliable capacity needed by Australian businesses and consumers.

“While the feasibility study is the first step, this project could once again bring together the world’s best and brightest engineers and technicians to enhance a national icon.”

The Scheme itself already operates as the ‘battery storage’ of the NEM, utilising dams to store energy in the form of water that can be delivered to the grid within minutes through the fast start capabilities of the Scheme’s nine power stations.

There are a number of sites across the Scheme capable of supercharging Snowy Hydro’s storage capability – providing additional generation capacity, helping the security and stability of the NEM, and with pumping capability to maximise the water resources and existing dam storage in the Scheme.  The most prospective project could increase the capacity of the 4100 megawatt Snowy Scheme by 50 per cent and result in a power station at least as powerful as Snowy Hydro’s 1800 megawatt Tumut 3 Power Station, which already includes pumped hydro capability.

The feasibility study will explore the physical, technical and environmental requirements for expansion of pumped hydro at sites across the Scheme, the potential output of new pumped hydro facilities and the costs associated with each project.

The Australian Government, through ARENA, is negotiating grant funding to support the Snowy Hydro feasibility work as part of ARENA’s ongoing efforts to accelerate Australia’s shift to renewable energy.

ARENA CEO Ivor Frischknecht said expanding the Snowy Scheme could help to deliver ARENA’s goal of ensuring a smooth transition to a renewable energy future.

“Australia’s energy system is rapidly evolving and ARENA is funding solutions like pumped hydro storage that provide consumers with more affordable and reliable renewable energy,” Mr Frischknecht said.

“Pumped hydro is economically viable right now and supports our grids by providing long term energy storage capacity that’s available on demand.”

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