The Snowy 2.0 feasibility study confirms that the Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro expansion project is both technically and financially feasible.
Snowy 2.0 would deliver 2000 MW of additional dispatchable generation capacity and 350,000 MWh of storage. The construction would involve building an underground hydro-electric power station and 27 kilometres of tunnels connecting two existing reservoirs in the Snowy Mountains.
Snowy Hydro already plays a critical role in ensuring system stability and at times of peak demand, the ability to keep the lights on. The feasibility study shows how Snowy 2.0 will enhance this current capability and continue to provide increased stability and security to the energy market.
Area of innovation
The Snowy 2.0 feasibility study recognises that as the economy decarbonises, more intermittent generation (such as wind and solar) will enter the market as baseload coal generation continues to retire. This creates the need for new sources of dispatchable energy generation such as pumped-hydro as well as the need for large-scale storage.
Snowy Hydro already has the capability to store huge amounts of energy. While this capability is currently sufficient for the National Electricity Market (NEM), it will not be enough in the future given increasing decarbonisation. The NEM covers the states of New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. Snowy 2.0 is critical to helping provide Australian businesses and households with reliable, stable and affordable energy in the future.
Reservoirs of water are poised to play a key role storing renewable energy to bolster the grid.
Snowy 2.0 has been given the green light, after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the project had been officially approved and confirmed nearly $1.4 billion in Commonwealth funding for the massive pumped hydro project.
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