Snowy 2.0 is the next chapter in the Snowy Scheme’s history. It is a nation building project that will provide Australia’s greatest storage of clean and reliable energy for many generations to come.
It is the largest committed renewable energy project in Australia and it will underpin the nation’s secure and stable transition to a low carbon emissions future at the lowest cost for consumers.
The project involves linking two existing dams, Tantangara and Talbingo, through a 27km underground tunnel and building a new underground power station.
Water will be pumped to the higher dam when the demand for energy is low, and then released to generate energy when demand is high.
In this way it will provide flexible, on-demand power while reusing and recycling the water in a closed loop. It will also maximise the efficiency of renewables by using excess solar and wind energy at times of low demand to pump and store water to the higher dam.
The first power generated from Snowy 2.0 is expected in late 2024. It will be fully completed in 2025.
Snowy 2.0 will provide an additional 2,000 megawatts (MW) of dispatchable generating capacity and approximately 350,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of large-scale storage to the National Electricity Market (NEM). To provide context this is enough energy storage to power three million homes for a week.
It will also create significant training and development opportunities for Australia’s workforce. At the peak of construction, the project will generate around 2,000 direct jobs in regional areas.
In 2017 a comprehensive Feasibility Study estimated project capital costs to be between $3.8 billion and $4.5 billion in real terms. This has been partly funded through a $1.39 billion capital injection from the Australian government. The remainder is financed from Snowy Hydro’s balance sheet.
This is a win-win project that will assist Australia in meeting its global commitments on climate change. It is good for renewables, will generate more power and lower electricity prices, and provide jobs and opportunities in regional Australia.