Snowy Hydro chief executive Paul Broad has set a target of March to finalise major construction contracts for the $4 billion-plus Snowy 2.0 project as he seeks to lock away approvals for the much-debated expansion from the federal government and avoid getting caught up in pre-election politicking over energy.
Speaking after Snowy announced its preferred contractors for the mega-project, Mr Broad said that while he believed the project has support across the main federal parties, he is keen to get the go-ahead confirmed.
After a competitive tender process that ran for the past 18 months, it named Future Generation – an alliance between Perth-based Clough and global hydropower and tunnelling specialist Salini Impregilo – to carry out the civil works, which accounts for the biggest chunk of work.
German hydroelectric engineering and equipment supplier Voith Hydro beat three international rivals including GE to win the tender to deliver hydro-power technology for Snowy 2.0, while Adelaide-based Leed has secured the contract for exploratory and pre-construction work.
The project involves adding an underground power and pumping station between the Snowy Hydro scheme’s existing Tantangara and Talbingo dams, involving about 27 kilometres of tunnelling. Water would be pumped up to the top dam during periods of oversupply of wind and hydro, or when wholesale prices are low, and released to generate electricity within seconds when needed, filling in the gaps between intermittent wind and solar generation. The expansion would provide 350,000 megawatt-hours of large-scale storage.
Read the full story in the AFR