13 February 2019 – The NSW Government has approved exploratory works for Snowy Hydro 2.0 to commence. The works involve the construction and operation of a new pumped-hydro power station to expand the existing Snowy Scheme.
Snowy Hydro CEO Paul Broad said the Snowy Hydro Scheme is critical for the security, affordability and reliability of the National Electricity Market.
“The mighty Snowy Scheme keeps the lights on across the National Electricity Market at times of peak demand today, and Snowy 2.0 will build on our existing capabilities.
“Snowy 2.0 will deliver reliable energy at times of peak demand and can ‘fill the gaps’ by generating when wind and solar energy output is low.”
The works involve excavating an exploratory tunnel to gain a better understanding of the underground geological conditions at the proposed location of the new power station. The works include the establishment of new access roads, infrastructure and other upgrades.
Snowy 2.0 will create jobs and economic opportunities across the Snowy mountains, since its inception the project has already involved more than 50 local businesses.
NSW Minister for Planning, Anthony Roberts, said The Department of Planning and Environment had undertaken rigorous assessment of the proposal taking account of environmental, social and economic impacts.
“Under the conditions of approval, Snowy Hydro is required to pay $10.5 million to offset the impacts of the exploratory works project on the national park.
“These funds would be used by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) to improve catchment health and to support the National Park’s unique environmental, heritage and recreational value,” he said.
The Snowy 2.0 Environment Impact Statement will be submitted later this year and be publicly exhibited to provide the community with an opportunity to comment.