An environmental impact statement (EIS) for Snowy Hydro’s proposed Snowy 2.0 exploratory works has been released for a 28-day public exhibition period.
Snowy Hydro is seeking approval to proceed with a program of exploratory works to gain a greater understanding of the underground geological conditions at the likely location of the proposed Snowy 2.0 underground power station.
An EIS addressing the exploratory works’ environmental, social and economic impacts has been submitted to the NSW Government and will undergo comprehensive assessment as part of the planning and approvals process.
In preparing the EIS, Snowy Hydro engaged world-leading technical and scientific experts across a range of disciplines, including terrestrial and aquatic ecology and cultural heritage.
“The exploratory works have been designed in a careful and specific way to avoid and minimise environmental impacts,” Snowy Hydro said in a statement.
“The location of the works at the Lobs Hole Ravine region and the site access roads were redesigned and relocated to help avoid sensitive areas and species as they were identified during the EIS process.
“The exploratory works, if approved, would provide further important information as part of the Snowy 2.0 project design process.
“While geological investigations have already been carried out from the surface, the rock has not been explored in-situ, at depth.”
The proposed exploratory works will include horizontal core samples taken at depth almost 1km below the ground.
The new geological data will ensure the precise location and design of the underground cavern can be confirmed.
“This aspect of the project is one of the biggest challenges for Snowy 2.0 and gathering additional geological information as soon as possible is critical,” the company said.
“Similar exploratory works were undertaken in the 1950s before the construction of the Snowy Scheme’s existing underground power stations of Tumut 1 and Tumut 2.
“Snowy Hydro has a proud track record over many decades of responsible environmental management in Kosciuszko National Park.
“Any impacts from Snowy 2.0 will be carefully considered, and where impacts cannot be avoided, they will be offset.”
Snowy Hydro has launched an interactive online EIS portal with information and videos about the project.
The EIS is also available to download from the Department of Planning and Environment (DPE).