The Federal Government has granted approval for Snow Hydro to begin main works on its Snowy 2.0 project.
As the shareholder of Snowy Hydro Limited, the Federal Government’s approval for Snowy to commence main works follows final environmental regulatory approvals for the project in June 2020.
Future Generation Joint Venture, the main contractor building the project, will now begin construction of an underground power station, waterways and access tunnels, and other supporting infrastructure.
This builds on the exploratory works for Snowy 2.0, which commenced in 2019 and included constructing site access roads, excavating an exploratory tunnel and establishing a construction compound.
Finance Minister, Mathias Cormann, said that infrastructure projects like Snowy 2.0 will play a key role in Australia’s economic recovery from COVID-19 by creating jobs and boosting economic activity.
“More than 500 people and 100 local businesses have already been engaged on this project and we expect 5,000 direct and indirect jobs to be created over the life of the project, with the potential for many more jobs to be created locally and in the broader region through supply chains and support services,” Mr Cormann said.
“The economic benefits of Snowy 2.0 will have an enduring impact on the Snowy Mountains region, with the project providing opportunities for local businesses, improvements in local infrastructure and increased economic activity well into the future.”
Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister, Angus Taylor, said in addition to creating jobs and increasing economic activity in the region, Snowy 2.0 will drive down electricity prices across the National Electricity Market and deliver more reliable power.
“Snowy 2.0 is a defining project in our country’s history and forms a key part of the Government’s agenda to deliver affordable and reliable power,” Mr Taylor said.
“The commencement of main works moves us a step closer to realising the benefits of Australia’s largest renewable energy project, the impact of which will be felt by millions of Australians.
“Those benefits are clear – affordable and reliable power across the National Electricity Market to ease pressure on Australian households and businesses.”
The Federal Government has committed up to $1.38 billion in equity for Snowy 2.0, with the remainder of the project to be financed by Snowy Hydro Limited.
Snowy 2.0 will provide an additional 2,000MW of fast-start, dispatchable energy and provide 350,000MW hours of large-scale storage, enough to power the equivalent of 500,000 homes for over a week during peak demand.
The project aims to reduce volatility in the market, support reliability and bring down power prices for Australian families and businesses.
Snowy Hydro Limited expects first power from Snowy 2.0 in 2025.