Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced plans to add 2000MW to the Snowy Hydro scheme – doubling output at the project – in a bid to secure the countries energy future.
The Snowy Mountains Scheme 2.0. has been described as an “electricity game-changer” by the Prime Minister, who said that in one hour it could produce 20 times the 100MWh expected from the battery proposed by the South Australian Government, but would deliver it constantly for almost a week (or 350,000MWh over seven days).
“We are making energy storage infrastructure a critical priority to ensure better integration of wind and solar into the energy market and more efficient use of conventional power,” the Prime Minister said in a statement. “By supercharging the Snowy Hydro precinct, we can ensure affordable and reliable electricity for Australian households and businesses.”
The Government, through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), will examine several sites, which could support large scale pumped hydroelectric energy storage in the precinct. These sites would involve new tunnels and power stations, connecting existing storages.
Snowy Hydro was originally built with the capability to be expanded and the Turnbull Government intends on maximizing that capacity, a statement said, emphasizing the plan would lead to job creation and economic security for thousands in the construction and engineering sectors.
Turnball said that a feasibility study for the project is expected to be completed before the end of the year, with construction to commence shortly after.