Exploratory Works for Snowy 2.0 will begin immediately, following consideration of the Snowy Hydro Board’s Final Investment Decision and shareholder approval for the project in late February 2019.
Snowy Hydro CEO, Paul Broad, said, “It’s an exciting time for our Company. Snowy 2.0, like the original Snowy Scheme, is a nation building project that is vital to Australia’s economy and our energy transition.
“This significant expansion of the Snowy Scheme will provide the storage and on-demand generation needed to balance the growth of wind and solar power, and the retirement of Australia’s aging fleet of thermal power stations. In short, it will keep our energy system secure.
“Snowy 2.0 is not only a sound business investment for Snowy Hydro with over eight per cent return on investment. It also represents the most cost-effective way to ensure a reliable, clean power system for the future.
“When it is completed, Snowy 2.0 will be able to deliver 2000MW of on-demand generation, up to 175 hours of storage, and deliver more competition that will keep downward pressure on prices.
“We are committed to continuing to grow our portfolio of assets, to maximise competition in the National Electricity Market (NEM) and deliver more value to consumers.”
In 2018, Snowy Hydro contracted 888 megawatts (MW) of wind and solar projects which gave it incredible insights into energy pricing. This process confirmed many of the assumptions of Snowy 2.0’s business case, including that the National Electricity Market (NEM) has passed a tipping point. New renewables are now the most economic form of new generation, even when firmed by hydro or gas.
Snowy Hydro’s existing fast-start assets, and increased capacity with Snowy 2.0, will firm up large amounts of intermittent renewables by coming in and out of the system to ‘fill the gaps’ by generating energy at times of peak demand.
The project is expected to generate up to 5000 jobs over the life of the project.