Snowy Hydro says it has celebrated a major milestone in the construction of its 2,000-MW Snowy 2.0 pumped storage hydro project, with commissioning under way for the first tunnel boring machine (TBM).
Snowy 2.0 will link two existing Snowy Scheme reservoirs, Tantangara and Talbingo, with 27 km of waterway tunnels and a power station with six pump-turbines located about 800 m underground.
The “Lady Eileen Hudson” TBM will soon commence tunneling for this 2,000-MW pumped-hydro expansion of the Snowy Scheme. Named after an important Snowy Scheme ambassador and the wife of inaugural Scheme Commissioner Sir William Hudson, the TBM is set to excavate two tunnels. First is the 2.6-km-long main access tunnel to the site of the underground powerhouse, then it will be relaunched underground to excavate the tailrace tunnel to the Talbingo Reservoir intake – for a total of 7.9 km.
Snowy Hydro Chief Executive Officer Paul Broad joined Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor and representatives from principal contractor Future Generation Joint Venture at the Lobs Hole construction site to inspect the TBM.
Broad said Snowy 2.0 construction had been progressing at a rapid rate. “The commissioning of the Lady Eileen Hudson TBM is an important milestone for the project and it’s great to see the cutterhead rotate. Tunnelling operations will soon be underway around-the-clock at Lobs Hole, building about 40 km of tunnels needed for the project,” he said. “We’ve already got 1,000 people working on Snowy 2,0, including locals from the Snowy Mountains and surrounding areas. Overall this project is delivering 4,000 direct jobs and thousands more in the supply chain.
“There are huge economic multiplier effects from our Snowy 2.0 investment, with almost a billion dollars already spent in Australia and more than $55 million with 150 Snowy Mountains businesses. Snowy 2.0 is critical for the energy market and consumers and will provide on-demand energy and large-scale storage to underpin Australia’s transition to renewables.”