Following a rigorous environmental and planning assessment, Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro, and the Minister for Planning Anthony Roberts, have officially approved exploratory works for the Snowy 2.0 Project.
Snowy 2.0 is a major pumped-hydro project which is expected to increase the Snowy Scheme’s generation capacity by 2,000 megawatts (MW) and provide large-scale energy storage of 175 hours – enough to power three million homes for a week.
The project will link the two existing Snowy Scheme dams, Tantangara and Talbingo, through underground tunnels and an underground power station with pumping capabilities.
Deputy Premier and Member for Monaro John Barilaro, made the announcement at the Snowy Hydro Discovery Centre in Cooma on Monday, giving the green light from the state government for exploratory works to begin on the project.
“Snowy Hydro is an iconic, Australian success story, part of the fabric of our nation and of the community here in the Snowy Mountains,” Mr Barilaro said at the event.
The approval of Snowy 2.0 is subject to strict conditions to address community concerns regarding the impacts on Kosciuszko National Park.
Minister for Planning Anthony Roberts said under the conditions of approval, Snowy Hydro is required to pay $10.5 million to offset the impacts of the exploratory works project on the national park.
“These funds would be used by the National Parks and Wildlife Service to improve catchment health and to support the National Park’s unique environmental, heritage and recreational value,” he shared.
Other approval conditions revolve around detailed management plans to minimise traffic, water, biodiversity and heritage impacts and manage the rehabilitation of any disturbed areas.
Moving forward, Snowy Hydro is expected to submit an Environmental Impact Statement later in the year for Snowy 2.0’s main works, involving the construction of an underground power station with a generating capacity of around 2,000 MW and approximately 27 kilometres of power waterways linking the existing Tantangara and Talbingo Reservoirs.
More information on the Snowy 2.0 Project can be found here.