Snowy Hydro is pleased to release the updated Snowy 2.0 business case presenting the project’s key revenue streams and value to the National Electricity Market (NEM). 

Marsden Jacob Associates (MJA), a long-standing expert in modelling the NEM, was re-engaged in mid-2023 by Snowy Hydro to provide updated NEM modelling as input to the updated business case.

While the economic drivers at the time of the project’s Final Investment Decision (FID) in December 2018 have not changed, there are a number of updates and these include:

  • Revised total cost to complete of $12 billion and a delay to the commercial operation date to December 2028.
  • Delivery of an additional 200 megawatts or 10% capacity; bringing total capacity to 2,200 MW. 
  • Increased Snowy 2.0 generation, reflecting the greater penetration of variable renewable generation (wind and solar).

The value of Snowy 2.0 to the NEM has increased since FID in December 2018, to $3.0 billion from $2.8 billion. Its completion is critical to supporting the NEM’s decarbonisation and reliability targets.

Snowy Hydro has already contracted 1.75 gigawatts (GW) of wind and solar supply which enabled 2.9GW of wind and solar projects. Snowy 2.0 will enable at least another 6GW of renewable energy through its ability to “firm” the intermittent wind and solar energy and transform this energy into cost-effective, reliable electricity supply.

The 350 gigawatt hours (GWh) of energy storage provided by Snowy 2.0 through its pump/generate function provides a meaningful step towards the 640GWh of storage identified by AEMO in its 2022 Integrated System Plan as being crucial to absorbing surplus renewable production and maintaining supply during periods of low renewable output.

Located in the NSW Snowy Mountains, Snowy 2.0 is 57% complete, with a workforce of 3,000 achieving good progress across the construction worksites.

At Lobs Hole, tunnel boring machine (TBM) Lady Eileen Hudson has excavated approximately 2km of the 6km tailrace tunnel, and world-leading TBM Kirsten is about to embark on the Inclined Pressure Shaft (IPS) excavation on a steep uphill drive of 1.6km. Stage 2 drill and blast excavation of the power station caverns continues.

When completed, the machine and transformer halls will form one of the largest and deepest caverns in the world, 800 metres underground.

More than 570,000 cubic metres of material has been excavated at the Talbingo intake – where water will exit the tailrace tunnel into Talbingo Reservoir and enter the tunnel when in pumping mode.

At Tantangara, the intake is three metres away from its fully excavated depth of 55 metres and the tunnel linking the intake and gate shaft is underway. TBM Florence is more than 850 metres into the headrace adit.

With progress slowing in very hard rock, the Snowy 2.0 project team ceased excavation by TBM Florence due to rock pinching on the machine’s shield. A specialist contractor has commenced work using high pressure water jets to remove the rock impinging on the machine’s shield. 

The 28-metre wide headrace surge shaft at Marica is excavated to a depth of 85 metres, on its way to 250 metres. 

The precast factory at Polo Flat, Cooma, is manufacturing concrete tunnel lining segments installed by the TBMs. More than 104,000 have been produced, along with 450 of the 7,000, nine-tonne bespoke segments for the IPS that utilise innovative force activated couplers.

The Snowy 2.0 updated business case was assessed following the revision to the project’s schedule and costs announced in August 2023.

The updated Snowy 2.0 business case is available here.