Snowy Hydro has welcomed the New South Wales Government’s planning approval for Snowy 2.0 Exploratory Works. The decision, which follows a rigorous environmental and planning assessment process, is another significant milestone in progressing the project.
Snowy Hydro hopes to commence work for Snowy 2.0 soon, subject to Shareholder approval from the Federal Government.
Snowy Hydro CEO Paul Broad said NSW Government’s support for the project is critical for the security, affordability and reliability of the National Electricity Market (NEM) in the future.
“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,” he said.
“With more intermittent renewables coming online, Snowy 2.0 will create an additional 2000 megawatts of on-demand energy generation and 175 hours of large-scale storage so households and businesses have energy when they need it most.
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“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.
“Snowy Hydro takes its environmental responsibilities very seriously. We have a long and proven record of responsibly operating the Snowy Scheme within the national park and we will do everything possible to avoid or minimise impacts from construction of Snowy 2.0.
“Snowy Hydro will provide $10.5 million to offset any impacts from the Exploratory Works.”
The NSW Government, which is responsible for allocating the offsets, has made the commitment that Snowy 2.0 offsets will be used by National Parks and Wildlife Service to support local environmental and recreational initiatives in Kosciuszko National Park.
Exploratory Works involve excavating an exploratory tunnel to gain a greater understanding of the underground geological conditions at the proposed location of the new Snowy 2.0 power station. The works also include upgrades and establishment of access roads, establishment of a construction compound and supporting infrastructure, and other activities.
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Almost 50 years ago, exploratory tunnels were constructed for both Tumut 1 and Tumut 2 power stations, the two underground stations in the Snowy Scheme.
Snowy Hydro says Snowy 2.0 will create jobs and economic opportunities across the Snowy Mountains – already more than 50 local businesses have been involved in the project.
In March 2018, Snowy 2.0 was declared NSW Critical State Significant Infrastructure, which provided a clear and well established framework for the project’s planning and environmental approval requirements.
An Environmental Impact Statement for Snowy 2.0 Main Works will be submitted to the NSW Government later this year.