8 March 2019 – Snowy 2.0 has been officially approved, with the Federal Government committing $1.38 billion of funding to the project, the remaining to be financed by Snowy Hydro Limited.
In what will be one of the largest pumped hydro projects in the world, Snowy 2.0 will aim to put a new underground power station in the Snowy Mountains, in a bid to enhance the existing capabilities of the Snowy Scheme.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said this project is a huge investment in Australia’s future, both environmentally and economically.
“As we transition our energy composition into the future, this project is central to that,” he said.
“This will be one of the largest pumped hydro projects in the world. There’s only one in Iceland that’s bigger.”
The project will link the two existing Snowy Scheme dams, Tantangara and Talbingo, through underground tunnels and an underground power station with pumping capabilities. 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 add 2,000 megawatts of energy generation and provide 175 hours of storage for the National Electricity Marker (NEM), enough to ensure the stability and reliability of the system during periods of increased demand or prolonged weather events.
Minister for Finance and the Public Service Mathias Cormann said the project is projected to generate an internal rate of return of over eight per cent and the company is expected to continue to pay dividends to the Commonwealth all throughout the construction phase.
“We are very, very confident that not only is this a project which will help deliver more affordable, more reliable energy supplies, it will also do so in a way that will help underpin environmentally more efficient energy supplies into the future and it will do so in a way that is financially and fiscally sustainable,” he said.
The project is expected to create up to 2400 direct jobs during the construction phase and a further 5,000 job directly and indirectly in the broader region.