News

MILESTONE FOR LOCAL SNOWY 2.0 CONCRETE SEGMENT FACTORY

09/08/2022

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.

FAST FACTS – DRY TUNNEL SEGMENTS

  • 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.

News

SNOWY 2.0 POWERING AHEAD WITH COMMISSIONING OF TUNNEL BORING MACHINE FLORENCE

22/03/2022

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

News

SNOWY 2.0 DIGITAL POP-UP BOOK – NEW ENERGY FOR A NEW GENERATION

07/09/2020

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 popupbook.snowyhydro.com.au

News

SNOWY 2.0 MAIN WORKS TO DRIVE JOBS AND INVESTMENT

28/08/2020

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.”

News

Australian Govt green lights Snowy 2.0 Main Works

15/07/2020

The Australian Government has given environmental approval for Snowy 2.0’s Main Works, which will create up to 4,000 jobs, drive significant infrastructure investment and underpin Australia’s renewable energy future.

The approvals include almost $100 million in offsets, which will be invested in conservation and recreational projects in Kosciuszko National Park that will benefit the local environment and park users.
Snowy Hydro’s CEO Paul Broad said the Federal Government’s approval on 30 June 2020 now finally cleared Snowy 2.0 to go ahead.

“This is the final approval for Main Works including the tunnelling after a comprehensive and robust assessment process,” Mr Broad said.

“This is a very exciting day for Snowy Hydro and marks a major achievement in our vision to become Australia’s biggest battery and storage for renewable energy.

“Snowy 2.0 will provide 2,000mw of new peaking power and firming capacity that will provide clean and reliable energy to millions of Australians. 

“We’re now moving full steam ahead with this vitally important project for Australia’s future. 

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

“To date, more than 500 people are working on the project as we progress the Exploratory Works that have been approved and underway for more than 12 months,” Mr Broad said.

There has been significant project activity at the Lobs Hole work site, with access roads and permanent bridges built, an initial construction camp established and excavations at the main access tunnel portal, in preparation for the first tunnel boring machine, which is expected to arrive in the coming months.

The Main Works will see construction continue to ramp up and will include an underground pumped-hydro power station, a range of tunnels, chambers and shafts, and roads, power and communications infrastructure.

“For a small permanent and mostly temporary construction footprint covering just 0.1% of the park, Snowy 2.0 will deliver 2,000MW of clean energy and large-scale energy storage to support many other wind and solar projects coming online,” Mr Broad said.

“We have been operating in Kosciuszko National Park for more than 70 years and we are committed to seeing it left in better shape for future generations.

“Snowy 2.0 will continue to be a major economic boost for local and regional communities dealing with the double impact of bushfires and COVID-19, with the workforce predicted to total 4,000 over the life of the project.” 

News

Statement from CEO Paul Broad on COVID-19 case

30/03/2020

As a provider of essential services we are well prepared to operate through COVID-19.  For weeks now we’ve had extensive measures in place to keep the lights on and progress Snowy 2.0 as safely and responsibly as possible.

On Thursday last week we were notified of a positive COVID-19 test result involving a Snowy Hydro employee who went immediately into self-isolation after returning from an overseas holiday.

As per Snowy’s strict and proactive COVID-19 protocols, the individual went into self-isolation immediately upon returning to Australia and did not come into contact with anyone. The employee was later tested following the development of a mild cough.

NSW Health Department has concluded that the employee has not transmitted the virus to any other person. In this case, the risk measures implemented by Snowy Hydro weeks ago were very effective and the staff member will remain in isolation until he is medically cleared.

Snowy Hydro continues to strictly enforce all of its COVID-19 safety and risk measures. We are operating at full capacity, Snowy 2.0 is full steam ahead and we continue to invest locally, supporting jobs and working with local businesses and suppliers.

News

Snowy turns 70 as a new generation writes its next chapter with Snowy 2.0

19/10/2019

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. 

News

Statement on some of the incorrect claims made about Snowy 2.0

16/10/2019

Snowy 2.0 is a project that is an investment for the next 100 years, that will keep Australia’s lights on, keep power prices down, and ensure Australia can make a secure transition to a clean energy future.

We note that the National Parks Association report is not an independent analysis, but just a set of random and unfounded assertions which ignore the true facts about this project.

Since construction began 70 years ago – which will be celebrated this Saturday – Snowy has provided the modern foundations of Australia’s economy, and the Snowy 2.0 project will be a bedrock for economic confidence in the future.

During that time we have been responsible environmental operators in Kosciuszko National Park and will continue to do so.

The facts are that only 0.01% of the national park will be permanently impacted by this project – or less than 1 square kilometre – of the park.

As our business and employees work and live in this area, we are committed to rehabilitating the areas affected by the Snowy 2.0 construction.

We also reject any claims that there have been cost over-runs on this project, or wild figures being promoted about the total cost of Snowy 2.0.

Our projected capital costs remain within the 2017 Feasibility Study cost of $3.8 billion to $4.5 billion and this was affirmed at the Final Investment Decision in December 2018 by Snowy Hydro’s Board, independent advisor Macquarie Capital, two government departments, Finance and Energy, and their independent advisor Lazard.

It is a falsehood to suggest transmission costs are an added cost to the Snowy 2.0 project as these are shared services used by the power industry, with the new upgraded capacity being essential in managing summer peak demand and transporting wind and solar to market.

We strongly reject any argument that Snowy 2.0 is not in the national interest. It has demonstrable economic and consumer benefits that have been independently valued at $4.4 to $6.8 billion.

News

Local and global experts to build Snowy 2.0

05/04/2019

Today Snowy Hydro Limited has achieved another significant milestone for Snowy 2.0 by appointing Future Generation Joint Venture as its main contractor. Snowy 2.0, a world-leading pumped-hydro expansion project, together with the mighty Snowy Scheme, will underpin Australia’s transition to a renewable energy future.

Future Generation is a joint venture between Clough, an Australian construction and engineering company, Salini Impregilo, a global hydropower and tunnelling specialist, and Lane.

The Engineer, Procure and Construct (EPC) contract signed today with Future Generation is consistent with the terms set out in the extensive, publicly-released Final Investment Decision information pack.

Under the single wrapped EPC contract, Future Generation will lead the civil works and Voith Hydro will deliver the latest hydro-generation technology in the new underground power station.

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 welcomes planning approval for Snowy 2.0 Exploratory Works

11/02/2019

Snowy Hydro welcomes the New South Wales Government’s planning approval for Snowy 2.0 Exploratory Works today. The decision, which follows a rigorous environmental and planning assessment process, is another significant milestone in progressing the project.

Snowy Hydro hopes to commence work for Snowy 2.0 soon, subject to Shareholder approval from the Federal Government.

Snowy Hydro CEO Paul Broad said NSW Government’s support for Snowy 2.0 is critical for the security, affordability and reliability of the National Electricity Market (NEM) in the future.

“The mighty Snowy Scheme keeps the lights on across the National Electricity Market at times of peak demand today, and Snowy 2.0 will build on our existing capabilities.

“With more intermittent renewables coming online Snowy 2.0 will create an additional 2000 megawatts of on-demand energy generation and 175 hours of large-scale storage so households and businesses have energy when they need it most.

“Snowy 2.0 will deliver reliable energy at times of peak demand and can ‘fill the gaps’ by generating when wind and solar energy output is low.

“Snowy Hydro takes its environmental responsibilities very seriously. We have a long and proven record of responsibly operating the Snowy Scheme within the national park and we will do everything possible to avoid or minimise impacts from construction of Snowy 2.0.

“Snowy Hydro will provide $10.5 million to offset any impacts from the Exploratory Works,” he said.

The NSW Government, which is responsible for allocating the offsets, has made the commitment that Snowy 2.0 offsets will be used by National Parks and Wildlife Service to support local environmental and recreational initiatives in Kosciuszko National Park.

Exploratory Works involve excavating an exploratory tunnel to gain a greater understanding of the underground geological conditions at the proposed location of the new Snowy 2.0 power station. The works also include upgrades and establishment of access roads, establishment of a construction compound and supporting infrastructure, and other activities.

Almost 50 years ago, exploratory tunnels were constructed for both Tumut 1 and Tumut 2 power stations, the two underground stations in the Snowy Scheme.

Snowy 2.0 will create jobs and economic opportunities across the Snowy Mountains – already more than 50 local businesses have been involved in the project.

In March 2018, Snowy 2.0 was declared NSW Critical State Significant Infrastructure, which provided a clear and well established framework for the project’s planning and environmental approval requirements.

An Environmental Impact Statement for Snowy 2.0 Main Works will be submitted to the NSW Government later this year.

For more information about Snowy 2.0, please visit snowyhydro.com.au.

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.

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