The Turnbull Government has announced its plan to increase the generation of the Snowy Hydro scheme by 50%, adding 2,000 megawatts of renewable energy to the National Electricity Market. – enough to power 500,000 thousand homes.
The energy that would be generated is enough to power 500,000 thousand homes.
The expansion will help make renewables reliable and minimise outages, enable greater energy efficiency and help stabilise electricity supply into the future.
The strategy is expected to provide cheaper power prices and more money in the pockets of Australians.
By supercharging the Snowy Hydro precinct, the government wants to ensure affordable and reliable electricity for Australian households and businesses.
Under the proposal, the amount of renewable energy storage capacity is increased by pumping water uphill using solar or cheap electricity and stored. It can then be released downhill through turbines to generate hydroelectric power when demand for electricity is high.
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.
Snowy Hydro already provides backup energy to New South Wales and Victoria and could extend to South Australia when expanded.
The government also expects to generate jobs for thousands of workers in the construction and engineering sectors.
It will have no impact on the scheme’s ability to supply water to irrigators in New South Wales, South Australia, and Queensland.
A feasibility study is expected to be completed by the end of 2017 and construction can commence immediately.