Snowy Hydro’s highest power station reaches new heights

Snowy 2.0
Jindabyne Dam as part of the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric scheme in New South Wales

Snowy Hydro is about to commence detailed design work for the replacement of the generator in unit one at Guthega Power Station.

The Guthega Power Station houses two 30MW hydro-electric generating units and was the first power station built with construction starting in 1951.

Located on the Snowy River, just 12km from the summit of Mount Kosciuszko and sitting at 1330m above sea level, it is the highest power station in the Snowy Scheme.

After more than 60 years of reliable operation, this is the first time any generator across the Snowy Scheme has needed to be replaced.

Snowy Hydro CEO Paul Broad said the $13 million replacement project was the latest example of the company’s strategic investment in the Snowy Scheme.

“It’s not just Guthega Power Station we’re investing in. We have a thorough asset maintenance and modernisation program that upgrades our power stations and the water infrastructure across the Snowy Scheme,” he said.

“We’ve undertaken asset improvements that have actually increased the Scheme’s total generation capacity.

“We’ve also implemented new technologies that allow us to start our generators faster, respond more quickly to changing market conditions and run our power stations remotely through our central control centre.”

The generator is connected to the turbine and is the part of the machine that converts the power produced by the spinning turbine into electrical energy for consumers.

The generator will be assembled from thousands of individual pieces and weighing in at 230 tonnes it will need specialised trucks and trailers to get it on site.

The new generator will have a higher design rating (40MW) than the existing unit to match the previously upgraded turbine.

Every generator across the scheme can be used independently and therefore each unit wears differently and is replaced based on its condition rather than age.

After undertaking a competitive tender process Snowy Hydro appointed Andritz Hydro to undertake the design, fabrication, install and commissioning of the generator.

Andritz Hydro is a global supplier of electromechanical systems and services for hydropower plants and hydraulic power generation.

The detailed design process and unit fabrication is expected to take around 12 months.