An expansion of the Snowy Mountains Hydroelectric Scheme will help store excess energy from Australia’s world-leading levels of household solar power.
The iconic scheme already plays a critical role in ensuring stability in Australia’s power system. At the time it was constructed in 1974 it was one of the most advanced engineering projects in the world.
The Snowy 2.0 project will increase the capacity of the system by almost 50%. The existing 4100 megawatts of fast-start dispatchable generation capacity will be expanded to 6,100 megawatts.
The scheme’s pumped hydro capacity will help to firm intermittent renewable energy and increase reliability. It will do this by generating at times of peak demand when renewable energy levels are low and pumping when levels are in excess.
The project is bringing economic growth and prosperity to the Snowy Mountains region in New South Wales.
Snowy 2.0 is expected to deliver 4,000 direct jobs over the life of the project. More than 1,000 workers are currently engaged across different aspects of the project.
When completed, the system will provide 350,000 megawatt hours of large-scale storage. That’s enough to power the equivalent of 500,000 homes during peak demand for over a week.
The project is expected to reduce volatility in the market, support reliability and bring down power prices for Australian families and businesses.
The Australian Government has committed up to $1.38 billion in equity for Snowy 2.0, with Snowy Hydro funding the remainder of the project.
Snowy 2.0 will become increasingly important as renewable energy increases. The scheme is expected to be progressively commissioned from 2025.