Australia to ride new waves of Snowy Hydro pump power

Snowy Hydro's Tumut Generating Station

The federal government yesterday announced a 50 per cent expansion of the output of the Snowy Hydro Scheme, according to the AFR.

The proposed plan would involve a new series of tunnels and power stations to better utilise the existing Snowy Hydro infrastructure, rather than buid new dams. 

Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull claimed that the new plan will add 2000mW of power to the scheme’s existing 4100mW output and will power 500,000 homes.

Four different design options using the Scheme’s existing dams will be looked at. The leading options are to rework the Tantangara Reservoir and the Talbingo Reservoir. 

Turnbull said that his plan is better than South Australia’s than the giant battery storage facility that SA’s premier Jay Weatherill has unveiled.

“In one hour it could produce 20 times the 100MW per hour expected from the battery proposed by the South Australian government, but would deliver it constantly for almost a week, or 350,000 MWh over seven days,” Turnbull said.

 However, the state is unlikely to back away from its plan. It wants to build South Australia’s generation capacity and contribution to the National Energy Market so it can export excess energy to Australia’s eastern seaboard.