Snowy Hydro Limited says a feasibility study into its Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro project is in full swing, with plans in place for geotechnical tests to begin shortly. While it was still early days, the company told representatives of leading construction and engineering firms last week it felt optimistic about the viability of the project and that, all going well, construction could begin in 2018, subject to the outcomes of the feasibility study.
CEO Paul Broad told the briefing that the Finkel Review’s recommendations of a new Clean Energy Target and Regional Security Obligation offered major opportunities for the Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro project.
Broad said there would be a strong increase in the use of intermittent power in the market – wind and solar – that would require reliable and rapid back-up supply of renewable energy. Snowy 2.0 would help further strengthen the critical role that SHL currently plays in ensuring system security and reliability.
“We are already the largest and most reliable battery storage option for the National Electricity Market. With Snowy 2.0, we will be able to provide an extra 2,000MW of new renewable capacity and provide increased energy security and stability,” Broad said. “This will be crucial as Australia transitions to a low-emissions economy over the next 20 to 30 years.”
Broad said the importance of the Snowy 2.0 project was apparent from the participation today by key representatives of leading global and local civil engineering, tunnelling and electrical experts.
“There was strong support for the project from the leading industry players who attended the briefing, and who are keen to partner with us to deliver this exciting project. There has been nothing like this in Australia since Snowy was completed in the 1970s and we want the best people available to assist us,” he said.
Snowy Hydro advised industry that it would be undertaking a three-stage process to procure two packages of services, with one covering civil works and the other electrical and mechanical works.
Expressions of interest would be called for shortly, with selected suppliers to be shortlisted for an early contractor consultation phase by late July.