Set to be Australia’s largest renewable energy project, Snowy 2.0, is on track with intended progress, paving the way for thousands of new jobs and opening up doors to cheaper, more reliable energy sources for Australians – both residentially and commercially.
The Government’s green light on Snowy to get underway comes after environmental regulatory approvals for the project were finalised in June 2020. The Government is also the shareholder of Snowy Hydro Limited.
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As the main contractor on the construction of the project, Future Generation Joint Venture will now commence construction of an underground power station, as well as a suite of waterways, access tunnels, and necessary supporting infrastructure.
All of this supports exploratory developments for Snowy 2.0, which launched construction back in 2019. A range of access roads, exploratory tunnel excavation and construction compound set up as part of the initial phase.
Snowy 2.0 to create much needed COVID-19 recovery
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann noted that infrastructure developments like Snowy 2.0 are key to establishing economic recovery from COVID-19 across Australia. It will open up thousands of jobs and create stability through 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,” said Cormann.
He also added that the economic advantages of Snowy 2.0 will influence the surrounding Snowy Mountains region, presenting a long list of opportunities for local businesses that desperately need support after COVID-19 impacts.
Angus Taylor, Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister, said that alongside establishing job opportunities and increasing economic activity in the community, Snowy 2.0 will also decrease electricity prices on the NEM and deliver more sustainable, reliable power sources.
“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,” said Taylor.
“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.”
Funding up to $1.38 billion has been invested as equity from the government, with remaining finances required to come from Snowy Hydro Limited.
Snowy 2.0 will deliver an extra 2,000 megawatts of instant, dispatchable energy and offer 350,000-megawatt hours of large-scale storage. That’s equivalent to powering 500,000 homes for more than a week during peak demand periods.
Snowy 2.0 is expected to provide its first round of power in 2025.