About Snowy 2.0
Snowy 2.0 will link the two existing Snowy Scheme dams, Tantangara and Talbingo, through underground tunnels and an underground power station with pumping capabilities. To view an interactive map of Snowy 2.0, click here.
Hydro-power will be generated by falling water spinning Snowy 2.0’s giant reversible turbines, which can also pump water in the opposite direction. Snowy 2.0’s pumping capabilities work in a ‘closed’ system – water is recycled between the upper dam (Tantangara) and lower dam (Talbingo) so the same water can be used to generate power more than once, making the most of available water. Snowy Hydro already has pumped-hydro capabilities at the Tumut 3 Power Station - it is proven technology used across the world.
The ability to pump and store water means Snowy 2.0 will act like a giant battery by absorbing, storing and generating energy on-demand. Snowy 2.0 will pump water using electricity at times of low demand and store it in the upper reservoir. Then, at times of peak demand when energy is needed most, the stored water will be used to generate and deliver electricity to the grid within minutes.
If the wind is blowing in the middle of the night when consumers are asleep, Snowy 2.0 can absorb the wind energy through pumping and store the water in the upper reservoir. When households wake up and the demand for energy soars, Snowy 2.0 can quickly generate energy for the grid.
The Snowy 2.0 project will involve underground excavation and tunnelling works between Tantangara and Talbingo to depths of up to one kilometre. It will also involve surface works in several locations including at the intake-outlet structures, surge shaft, cable and ventilation portal sites. A number of supporting works will also be required such as establishing or upgrading access tracks and roads and electricity connections to construction sites.
The first power generated from Snowy 2.0 is expected in late 2024 and its operating life will be consistent with the Scheme’s existing assets, which continue to be robust and reliable 70 years after construction.