Snowy Hydro is launching a community insights campaign to better understand the social impacts of the Snowy 2.0 project.

The campaign seeks to engage and connect with community members across south-eastern NSW to gather insights, opinions, and experiences related to Snowy Hydro operations and the Snowy 2.0 project.

Through an online survey available at, we invite residents, stakeholders, and interested parties to share their perspectives and help shape the future of their communities. A series of focus groups, one-on-one meetings, phone surveys and community pop-up stalls will support the online survey.

“This campaign reiterates Snowy Hydro’s commitment to transparent and inclusive community engagement,” said Snowy Hydro CEO Dennis Barnes. 

“We value the input of our community members and recognise the importance of understanding their needs and concerns.”

The survey, which will be open until 5 May 2024, covers a range of topics, including community sentiment, perceptions of the Snowy 2.0 project, and suggestions for improving Snowy Hydro’s community engagement efforts. Participation is open to individuals aged 18 and above who reside or own property in the Snowy Monaro, Snowy Valleys, Towong, Bega Valley and surrounding local government areas.

“We encourage you to take part in this survey and contribute to the dialogue surrounding the Snowy 2.0 project and its impact on our communities,” added Mr Barnes. 

“Your feedback will be important in informing Snowy Hydro’s social impact strategy and community engagement initiatives.”

Throughout April, Snowy Hydro representatives will engage with stakeholders in key regional towns, fostering open conversations about Snowy Hydro’s operations and future priorities. The consolidation of survey findings is planned for June 2024, with a publication of key results expected in July 2024.

For more information or to participate in the survey, please visit

Additionally, feedback or inquiries can be directed to Snowy Hydro via phone at 1800 623 776 or email at




This month we’ll update you on tunnel boring machine (TBM) Kirsten, which is putting Snowy 2.0 at the forefront of TBM tunnelling innovation, along with the unique concrete segments she will install as part of the inclined pressure shaft excavation and lining.

Damon Miller, Senior Engineering & Quality Manager for Snowy 2.0, works with the design, manufacturing and construction teams to plan and deliver the engineering solutions behind Snowy 2.0, the pumped hydro expansion of the Snowy Scheme.

Building the inclined pressure shaft (IPS) will be a unique and technically challenging engineering feat for the project team

After finishing the 2.9 kilometre Emergency Cable and Ventilation Tunnel, TBM Kirsten has been substantially modified for her next critical role excavating the IPS.

This very steep, 1.6 kilometre, 10 metre diameter shaft forms part of the waterway and will connect the headrace tunnel with the underground power station. 

Project director Dave Evans believes the specially manufactured segments being used for this shaft are going to change the world of hydropower. “It means we can do less steel lining, we can move power stations closer to the surface which is what we’ve done here and construct an inclined pressure shaft with a tunnel boring machine which all makes it safer, quicker and the quality a lot better.”

To see the latest Snowy 2.0 project statistics, view the fact sheet here.

To cope with the extreme and fluctuating water pressures in the IPS, the concrete segment rings lining the tunnel require bespoke connectors.

The Force Activated Coupling System or FACS are specially-developed steel couplers with pin and socket elements.

When the segment rings are interlocked, the pre-stressed FACS keep the joint closed when the tunnel experiences sharp changes in pressure from turbine operations and shut downs. It’s like water hammer when opening or closing a tap at home, just on a much larger scale.

This new technology has been developed by Future Generation joint venture partner Webuild and their designer Lombardi, with the FACS segments being manufactured at our precast factory in Cooma.

A large-scale test is being conducted by installing eight FACS rings to link the emergency, cable and ventilation tunnel with the IPS.

Meanwhile, innovative design by the leading TBM manufacturer Herrenknecht has allowed TBM Kirsten to be modified to safely tunnel uphill.

The machine’s working platforms, equipment and operator’s cabins all pivot to remain horizontal and the walkways become steps and ladderways. 

A screw conveyor will move excavated rock from the cutterhead. This feeds into a sandwich conveyor that has face-to-face rubber belts to hold the material so it can be transported down the steep slope without spillage.

The IPS is on a 47% incline so a monorail is being installed to transport workers and there is a rack and pinion system for multi-service vehicle access including segment delivery up the steep slope to the TBM.




In the June update of the pumped-hydro expansion of the mighty Snowy Scheme, Snowy 2.0’s Alex Woschitzka explains construction progress at the massive Talbingo and Tantangara intakes. The project’s Quality Coordinator also checks in on the transformation of a narrow fire trail through steep terrain into a road suitable for heavy vehicles.

Significant progress has been made at the Talbingo intake, where water will exit the tailrace tunnel when Snowy 2.0 generates power. This is also where water enters the tunnel for pumping.

Construction teams have moved more than 310,000 cubic metres of earth to date, about half the total amount that will need to be moved. More than 24,000 metres of rock bolts have been installed and 8,300 square metres of shotcrete sprayed to support the wall.

As part of quality assurance, the shotcrete must be tested for compressive strength. Samples are taken from the truck and also cored from the face to ensure it meets the intended strength requirements. For the rock bolts, pull-testing is conducted to ensure they have been correctly installed, and meet the design and quality requirements. 

When completed, the total height of the Talbino intake excavation will be 104 metres, with about 31 metres of that below the water level. The concrete intake structure will be an impressive 50 metres in height.

Construction is well underway on an internal access road through mountainous terrain. With the help of Snowy 2.0 subcontractor Leed, a narrow fire trail will be widened into a six-kilometre road to enable heavy vehicles to access a rock emplacement area on Talbingo Reservoir.

Works began from both ends across very challenging terrain, achieving a major milestone recently when the two pioneering fronts joined across the Middle Creek cliffs. A temporary bridge with a 36-metre span has been installed across Middle Creek and is capable of supporting a fully-loaded 80-tonne dump truck.

In another milestone achieved in June, stage one earthworks have now been completed at the Tantangara intake. The first stage involved excavation of about 205,000 cubic metres of earth with a further 78,000 cubic metres of drilling and blasting earthworks expected in the next stage.

To support the excavation, more than 18,000 metres of rock bolts have been drilled and installed, and approximately 6,100 square metres of shotcrete sprayed. The excavation is currently about 26 metres deep and will be extended to a total depth of 55 metres.

Tantangara intake is where water will enter the headrace tunnel when the Snowy 2.0 power station is in generation mode. When in pumping mode, water will exit through the intake and fill Tantangara Reservoir. 




May was a milestone month for the Snowy 2.0 team with the completion of the emergency, cable and ventilation tunnel, or ECVT – another vital step in the construction of Snowy Hydro’s new pumped-hydro expansion megaproject.

Snowy 2.0 senior project manager Rodd  Brinkmann explains the next stage of the project from his base at Lobs Hole, as preparation for excavation for the underground power station cavern gets underway.

The ECVT is a 2.93 kilometre tunnel that runs adjacent to the main access tunnel and provides alternate access to the site of the underground power station. Tunnel boring machine (TBM) Kirsten recently completed excavation of the ECVT and will soon start tunnelling the inclined pressure shaft. This very steep shaft links to the headrace tunnel from Tantangara Reservoir. 

TBM Kirsten will need to undergo modifications to excavate the 25-degree incline, including installation of a screw conveyor to extract excavated rock from the cutterhead to a sandwich conveyor system. With such a steep incline, construction of the 1.45km shaft with its concrete segment-lined tunnel, will be a world first. 

In the main access tunnel, or MAT, construction of cross passages and construction access tunnels is well underway with 850 metres of drill and blast tunnel excavation completed. Of the five cross passages linking the MAT and the ECVT, two are fully excavated and waiting on breakthrough into the ECVT.  Key construction tunnels are also being excavated to provide access to the machine hall, transformer hall and the top of the tailrace surge shaft. 

Workers have reached the main cavern areas from both ends and will soon commence excavation and support of the cavern crowns or ceilings of the power station halls. The excavation sequence of the cavern crowns is critical, as the in situ rock mass will relax and move inwards as the excavated void increases. These movements will be closely monitored during the process. Geotechnical drilling and plate load tests will measure and confirm the characteristics of the rock geology around the power station.

Dynamic 3D models of the power station caverns are also being used. 3D models are created using digital engineering to transform 2D design drawings and are displayed in the state-of-the-art immersive theatre at Snowy Hydro’s Discovery Centre in Cooma, where Snowy 2.0 engineers can collaborate with power station design experts from around the world. Once construction is complete, the detailed 3D models will be a valuable tool for asset maintenance. 

With so much activity in the tunnels, the current Snowy 2.0 underground workforce will increase by another 200 people in the coming months.  




Snowy Hydro’s management team is working towards resetting the delivery timeline and budget for the Snowy 2.0 project with its principal contractor, Future Generation Joint Venture (FGJV), as part of an ongoing project review. 

The reset will ensure this critically important clean energy infrastructure project is placed on a robust and sustainable footing for FGJV to progress the schedule in a realistic and productive manner. 

While significant progress has been achieved by FGJV on Snowy 2.0, there are delays to Snowy 2.0’s contracted schedule and likely cost impacts beyond the contingency allowed, which remain under review by Snowy Hydro. 

There are four broad categories of factors contributing to schedule delays and likely cost increases: 

  • the mobilisation and resourcing implications of the COVID-19 pandemic; 
  • the effect of global supply chain disruption and inflation impacting the cost and availability of a skilled workforce, materials, and shipping; 
  • a number of design elements requiring more time to complete due to their technically complex nature, with the final design now being more expensive to construct; and  
  • the impact of variable site and geological conditions, with the most impactful being the soft ground encountered that is delaying tunnel boring machine (TBM) Florence’s progress at Tantangara.  

Snowy Hydro anticipates that the timeline for full commercial operation is delayed by a further 12-24 months from the current publicly released dates:

First Power June 2027 – December 2027June 2028 – December 2028
Commercial operation of all units December 2028 December 2029

Snowy Hydro expects more detail on the budget implications of the project reset around July 2023, and this will be clearly communicated with key project stakeholders.  

Snowy Hydro CEO Dennis Barnes said: 

“Since joining Snowy Hydro earlier this year I have focused on ensuring our major projects are placed on a realistic and sustainable footing, while maintaining construction progress.  

“This project is critically  important to the transition of Australia’s electricity grid and it’s crucial that we are working to a safe, efficient and realistically achievable timeframe to enable orderly planning for all our stakeholders. I am committed to being transparent about our progress and how we are proactively managing the inevitable issues and challenges that arise in a complex project like this. 

“While many other major infrastructure projects have been impacted by the same challenges, Snowy 2.0 continues to make positive progress.

“Snowy 2.0 is providing significant employment and economic benefits both regionally and domestically. There are currently over 2,400 people employed on the project and thousands more jobs generated indirectly through supply chains and support services.

“TBM Kirsten has tunnelled 2.9 km to reach the underground power station cavern complex and we now have access to this site from both ends. We shortly expect to commence the 6km tailrace tunnel that will feed into Talbingo Reservoir and the excavation of intakes at Talbingo and Tantangara are proceeding very well.”




Snowy 2.0 teams are monitoring a surface depression that has emerged above the headrace tunnel at Tantangara.

The integrity of the tunnel has not been compromised, and tunnelling is continuing while work to remediate the surface depression above tunnel boring machine (TBM) Florence is carried out. There is a safety exclusion zone around the surface depression.

Ensuring the safety of the Snowy 2.0 workforce and members of the public is the priority for Snowy Hydro and principal contractor Future Generation Joint Venture. 

The Snowy 2.0 teams are conducting geophysical investigations of the area and continuing grouting operations and probing from the TBM. 

As previously indicated, the ground conditions encountered by the TBMs on Snowy 2.0 have been highly variable, ranging from very loose, sandy ground to extremely hard rock in fluctuating groundwater conditions. 

TBM Florence is transitioning from soft material into harder rock conditions. 




Snowy Hydro is celebrating the completion of excavation for its first tunnel for Snowy 2.0, with the Lady Eileen Hudson tunnel boring machine (TBM) reaching the location of the new underground power station cavern.

The 11-metre diameter TBM has excavated 2.85km to create the main access tunnel at Lobs Hole in the Snowy Mountains, where a workforce of more than 2,200 people are building Snowy 2.0 – the 2,000 megawatt pumped hydro expansion of the mighty Snowy Scheme.

Snowy Hydro acting CEO Roger Whitby said the tunnelling achievement was a significant milestone, with Snowy 2.0 set to underpin the nation’s transition to renewables.

“Snowy 2.0 will not only provide on-demand, quick-start generating capacity for the National Electricity Market (NEM), but a massive 350,000 gigawatt hours of energy storage,” Mr Whitby said.

“This is our first new major tunnel excavation in decades, since construction of the original Scheme, and it gives us access to the site where we will create the enormous cavern 800m underground that will house our power station.

“The TBM Lady Eileen Hudson and our teams from Snowy Hydro and contractor Future Generation Joint Venture have done a great job to complete this critical tunnelling task.

“However, there’s no slowing down. Work across the project continues to move ahead rapidly and this tunnel boring machine is now being dismantled so it can be moved to the Talbingo adit where it will be reassembled with some new components for excavation of the 6km tailrace tunnel.”

While dismantling of the TBM conveyor belt gets underway in the main access tunnel, drill and blast activities are ongoing to excavate cross passages and tunnels to gain access to the power station complex, which will include a 251m-long, 52m-high machine hall cavern and 223m-long, 46m-high transformer hall cavern.

The new work fronts associated with the powerhouse will create further employment opportunities on this clean energy mega-project.

The Snowy 2.0 project will link Tantangara Reservoir (top storage) with Talbingo Reservoir (bottom storage) through 27km of tunnels and a power station with pumping capabilities.

This will enable water to be released for energy generation at times of peak demand and then pumped back to the top storage when there is excess renewable energy in the system, ready to generate again.

Main access tunnel fast facts:

  • 10 metres in diameter
  • Lined with 1,422 concrete rings installed by the TBM
  • Rings comprise 12,798 individual segments manufactured locally in Cooma
  • Has four cross-passages linking it to the adjacent emergency, cable and ventilation tunnel
  • Also has four cross tunnels and a turning bay to facilitate construction access around the power station complex
  • Provides pedestrian and vehicle access into the power station



Tunnel boring machine (TBM) Florence continues excavating the Snowy 2.0 headrace tunnel at Tantangara following successful reinforcement works.

As anticipated, the ground conditions encountered by the TBMs on Snowy 2.0 have been highly variable, ranging from soft, sandy ground to extremely hard rock. 

The Snowy 2.0 teams have been working collaboratively to safely navigate the softer ground conditions experienced at Tantangara, including high groundwater inflows.

As part of the tunnelling process we probed in advance of the TBM, identifying the soft ground ahead, and then consulted with our expert design consultants to plan for stabilisation works. TBM Florence has been specifically designed to encounter these variable ground conditions.

Consolidation grouting around the perimeter of the headrace tunnel, and internally, the installation of steel ribs to reinforce the concrete segmental lining in the soft zone, have been carried out to ensure stability and manage groundwater inflows. Additional instrumentation to monitor ground performance has also been installed.  

Successful execution of the reinforcement works by Snowy 2.0 principal contractor Future Generation Joint Venture (FGJV) is enabling the TBM to carefully thrust off the segments and move forward.

Snowy Hydro expects variable and soft ground conditions to occur in sections of the very long 17-kilometre headrace tunnel. Further ground improvement works – a typical tunnelling process – will be carried out where required so the TBM can safely advance.

Snowy Hydro and its Future Generation Joint Venture partners are working towards the successful delivery of Snowy 2.0.

Click here for images of TBM Florence and the reinforcement works.




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.


  • 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.




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




Snowy Hydro has launched a new digital pop-up book showcasing the Snowy 2.0 renewable energy project for a younger generation.

Bringing to life the engineering and purpose of Snowy 2.0 in a lively and interactive way, the pop-up book is designed to engage and inform young people.

It is an exciting online resource that will help spark community interest in the huge pumped-hydro project by explaining the journey from water to wire.

Paul Broad, CEO of Snowy Hydro, said the Snowy Mountains Scheme is an iconic part of Australia, however, not every child can visit the mountains so our challenge is to bring the experience to them. 

“As Australia moves to a renewable energy future, it is important for young people to understand how energy is made. This digital pop-up book brings Snowy 2.0 to life for children. It is fun and interactive, as well as being educational.

“We are also looking to inspire the next generation of Snowy Hydro scientists, engineers, apprentices and trainees. Who knows? Maybe the pop-up book will kick start a young person’s passion for energy and science,” he said. 

Kids and their parents can access the pop-up book on the Snowy Hydro website and enjoy the animations that explain how the Snowy Scheme works, where Snowy 2.0 fits into the energy mix and the scale of this important regional project.

The Snowy 2.0 digital pop-up book makes it easy to see the ‘big picture’ and how important Snowy 2.0 will be as we transition to a low-carbon emissions future.

The pop-up book takes users through the Snowy 2.0 project in a cascading series of tiles featuring animated characters and colourful graphics, clickable elements, videos and a project timeline.

The pop-up book is the first stage of Snowy’s online education website, the Next Generation Education Hub, which is set to launch later this year. The website will bring the power of water and renewable energy into classrooms and living rooms across the country.

People can also sign up for our Snowy Hydro e-newsletter and connect with us via social media.

To experience the Snowy 2.0 digital pop-up book visit




Snowy 2.0 today achieved another significant milestone with the Federal Government’s approval for the project’s main works construction. 

The Snowy 2.0 pumped-hydro project is a major expansion of the Snowy Scheme, linking two existing dams, Tantangara and Talbingo, through 27km of tunnels and building an underground power station.

The approval today allows construction to commence on the underground power station, waterways and access tunnels, and other supporting infrastructure.

It follows on from exploratory works, which got underway in 2019 and has included constructing site access roads, establishing a construction compound and excavating an exploratory tunnel.

“This approval marks the next stage in Snowy 2.0’s construction and brings our vision to become Australia’s biggest battery and storage for renewable energy one step closer,” Snowy Hydro’s CEO Paul Broad said. 

“It’s full steam ahead for the Snowy 2.0 project that will pave the way for Australia’s energy transition.

“It also unlocks billions of dollars of investment that will create thousands of jobs over the life of the project and provide a much-needed boost to the local and regional economy, which has been hit by drought, bushfires and COVID-19. 

“Snowy 2.0 is already playing a major part in kick-starting the local economy, with more than 100 local businesses involved and more than $35 million spent in the Snowy Mountains region.

“On completion of the project in 2026, it will provide 2,000 megawatts of new peaking power and firming capacity that will provide clean and reliable energy to millions of Australians.”