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

DRIVING HOME ROAD SAFETY TO THE NEXT GENERATION

13/05/2022

Snowy Hydro is committed to ensuring the next generation of locals are equipped with the skills and knowledge to help keep them safe on the roads, with the long-running Young Driver Program playing a crucial role.

For four years Snowy Hydro has partnered with Driving Solutions to provide local students with young driver training. This month more than 275 local young people participated in the program, which helps prepare Learner and Provisional drivers for the driving conditions they face on Snowy Mountains roads.

Since its inception in 2002, the Snowy Hydro Young Driver Program has provided more than 1,600 local students with the opportunity to improve their driving skills and become safer drivers.

Snowy Hydro CEO and Managing Director Paul Broad said the program demonstrated Snowy Hydro’s continued commitment to the safety and well-being of young people living in the Snowy Mountains region. 

“The Snowy Hydro Young Driver Program delivers learning exercises and activities that give our local kids the skills and knowledge to help keep them safe on our unique and at times, challenging, mountain roads,” Mr Broad said.

“These young and inexperienced drivers gain so much from the program – it’s really valuable and we at Snowy Hydro are proud to play a part in ensuring greater safety on the roads where we live and work.”

The program covered topics such as correct seating position and the importance of understanding the difference between vehicles with anti-lock brake systems (ABS) and vehicles without ABS. Students were taught when to fit snow chains on their vehicles while travelling in snow and ice conditions. They were also shown the correct way to use and fit snow chains on a vehicle. 
The activities and exercises provided useful and practical knowledge to assist the students when behind the wheel. Topics included driver attitudes and the effects of distractions when driving, such as mobile phones, passengers and vehicle navigation. Other practical skills were also discussed including how to understand correct and incorrect tyre pressure on their vehicles. 

News

NEW LEASE ON LIFE FOR MURRAY 1 TRANSFORMERS

04/04/2022

Snowy Hydro is carrying out a large project to refurbish the Murray 1 Power Station generator step-up transformers, a process that will significantly extend the life of these important Snowy Scheme assets.

Reconditioning and replacement of the bushings will help to increase the lifespan of the transformers by an extra 15 years. Under normal conditions, transformers are expected to operate for 30 to 40 years, but thanks to the thorough effort Snowy puts into maintaining its assets, the Murray 1 Power Station transformers will operate for many years to come – an amazing achievement. 

There have been a number of obstacles to overcome during the course of this project, including road closures along the Alpine Way due to natural incidents, weather extremes in the Snowy Mountains, and above all, COVID-19 and the closing of the border between New South Wales and Victoria. 

Murray 1 is located near Khancoban and Wilson Transformer Company (WTC), based in Melbourne, which was hired to do some of the important work, navigated a six-week   government approval process to cross the border from Victoria to work on the refurbishment through the pandemic.

WTC manufactured a purpose-built dry out tank at its Glen Waverley factory specifically for this major Snowy Hydro project.

The tank is utilised after the team has de-tanked the core and coils – which are then both put inside the dry-out tank. The team completes welding works and modification of the old transformer tank and lid, before re-tanking the unit into the original body.

There are two more Murray 1 transformer refurbishments and bushing replacements remaining, with the last scheduled to be completed in November 2022.

So far, the project has been highly successful, with approximately 100 workers involved, and no safety concerns or injuries. Snowy Hydro appreciates all those contributing to this project for prioritising safety and health above everything else. 

In addition, Snowy Hydro and WTC have worked with many local businesses in the construction, including electrical contractors PHE and Roddy Engineering, both based in Tumut, NSW.

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

JINDABYNE LAKE LEVELS – Updated 21 March 2022

21/03/2022

High inflows to the Snowy Scheme, including Jindabyne catchment, have continued through March.

As the lake level at Jindabyne approached 100% on 7 March, additional releases were made to the Snowy River below Jindabyne Dam to manage the high inflows. These release have now tapered off, and will again follow the environmental release targets notified here: https://www.snowyhydro.com.au/about/reports/

The outlook as we head towards winter is for wet conditions to continue. Snowy Hydro will continue to pump water from Jindabyne to Geehi to be released through Murray 1 and 2 Power stations into the upper Murray River at every opportunity. Further releases to the Snowy River may still be required to avoid uncontrolled releases.

If Lake Jindabyne reaches 100%, it will trigger operation of the spillway gates. Dam safety is paramount at this time and the spillway gates will automatically release water at any time the storage reaches or exceeds 100%.
For the community, the most important message is to stay safe and well-informed. The public can stay updated about flood alerts here:

For more information about releases into the Snowy River visit
https://www.snowyhydro.com.au/generation/live-data/lake-levels/ and
https://dpie.nsw.gov.au/water/home
Snowy Hydro will continue to keep the community informed about management of water in Lake Jindabyne through its website and social media channels.
DPE Water will engage with landowners subscribed to its SMS service.

News

UPDATED: JINDABYNE LAKE LEVELS

24/01/2022

December 2021 was officially the wettest since records began for the Lake Jindabyne catchment and with over 160mm of rain so far, January isn’t too far behind. The lake level will continue to stay high throughout summer. 

Releases from Jindabyne Dam to the Snowy River returned to the advised environmental releases from 18 January. Additional flows above the notified environmental releases into the Snowy River are possible while wet conditions persist. Snowy Hydro will continue to look for opportunities to pump water to Geehi Reservoir, however, at times, the surplus of water pumped to Geehi will be returned to Jindabyne.

It remains possible that the storage may again reach 100% (or full supply level), triggering operation of the spillway gates. Dam safety is paramount at this time and the spillway gates will automatically release water at any time the storage reaches or exceeds 100%.

NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE Water) has been consulted on this plan and continues to work closely with Snowy Hydro to make controlled releases to manage the spill risks and minimise downstream impacts.

For the community, the most important message is to stay safe and well-informed. The public can stay updated about flood alerts here:

For more information about releases into the Snowy River visit 

https://www.snowyhydro.com.au/generation/live-data/lake-levels/ and

https://dpie.nsw.gov.au/water/home

Snowy Hydro will continue to keep the community informed about management of water in Lake Jindabyne through its website and social media channels.

News

UPDATED: JINDABYNE DAM SPILL

05/01/2022

Due to additional rainfall in the forecast, Snowy Hydro is increasing releases from Jindabyne Dam to the Snowy River from the planned target of 200ML per day, to 3,000ML per day.

These increased releases will reduce the risk of flooding and minimise pressure on communities around and downstream of Lake Jindabyne.

It remains possible that the storage may again reach 100% (or full supply level), triggering operation of the spillway gates. Dam safety is paramount at this time and the spillway gates will automatically release water at any time the storage reaches or exceeds 100%.

NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE Water) have been consulted on this plan and continue to work closely with Snowy Hydro to make controlled releases to manage the spill risks and minimise downstream impacts.

Lake levels are anticipated to remain high for at least the next month, with continuing wet weather predicted in the seasonal outlook.

For the community, the most important message is to stay safe and well informed. The public can stay updated about flood alerts here:

For more information about releases into the Snowy River visit
https://www.snowyhydro.com.au/generation/live-data/lake-levels/ and
https://dpie.nsw.gov.au/water/home

Snowy Hydro will continue to keep the community informed about management of water in Lake Jindabyne through its website and social media channels

News

UPDATED: JINDABYNE DAM SPILL

22/12/2021

Following recent significant rainfall events, Jindabyne Dam reached full supply level on Monday 20 December and commenced spilling into the Snowy River.

Up to 140mm of rain was recorded in Snowy Scheme catchments last weekend, continuing what has been a very wet year and the wettest November/December since 1992.

With further storm activity forecast for the Christmas weekend and limited opportunities to pump water from Lake Jindabyne into the Murray River catchment, Snowy Hydro has reached agreement with NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE Water) to increase releases from the dam to bring the lake below full supply level. However, it is possible that the spillway may operate again if further extreme rainfall is experienced.

Upcoming releases from Jindabyne Dam into the Snowy River:

On Wednesday 22 December, the river will have a daily flow rate of 4,092 megalitres per day over a 24-hour period. According to DPIE (Water), this will result in a highest peak of 1.45m at Dalgety Weir. 

On Thursday 23 December, the river will have a daily flow rate of 5,000 megalitres per day over a 24-hour period. According to DPIE (Water), this will result in a highest peak of 1.51m at Dalgety Weir. 

On Friday 24 December, the river will have a daily flow rate of 4,866 megalitres per day over a 24-hour period. According to DPIE (Water), this will result in a highest peak of 1.50m at Dalgety Weir. 

On Saturday 25 December, the river will have a daily flow rate of 2,387 megalitres per day over a 24-hour period. According to DPIE (Water), this will result in a highest peak of 1.50m at Dalgety Weir. 

Snowy Hydro will continue to work closely with DPIE Water to identify opportunities to make controlled releases to manage the spill risks and minimise downstream impacts. Dam safety is paramount at this time and the spillway gates will automatically release water at any time the storage reaches or exceeds 100%.

Lake levels are anticipated to remain high for at least the next month, with continuing wet weather predicted in the seasonal outlook.

For the community, the most important message is to stay safe and well informed. The public can stay updated about flood alerts here:

For more information about releases into the Snowy River visit 

https://www.snowyhydro.com.au/generation/live-data/lake-levels/ and https://dpie.nsw.gov.au/water/home

Snowy Hydro will continue to keep the community informed about management of water in Lake Jindabyne through its website and social media channels.

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

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.

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