Green light given for drilling to commence on Snowy 2.0 tunnel from Tantangara Reservoir

Michael Weaver 8 April 2020 22
Tumut3 power station on the Talbingo Resevior.

Snowy Hydro’s Tumut3 power station and the Talbingo Reservoir. Photo: Snowy Hydro.

The next stage of the Snowy 2.0 expansion will see a tunnel-boring machine from Germany begin drilling on a 27km route that will connect the Tantangara Reservoir to an underground power station for the Snowy Hydro project.

The crucial stage of the Snowy 2.0 expansion can begin after the NSW Government approved the Polo Flat segment factory on 6 April. Each segment, weighing seven tonnes, will line the project’s waterway tunnel.

To build the tunnel, the German boring machine will drill the 27km, 11m-wide tunnel that will go 400m underground.

NSW Deputy Premier and Member for Monaro John Barilaro said the approval of the Snowy Hydro segment factory is fantastic news for the region, with construction of the concrete production facility to begin within weeks.

More than 150 new jobs will be created, which will see $55 million injected into local economies.

Mr Barilaro heralded the next stage of the Snowy Hydro Scheme as part of the folklore of the Monaro.

Tunnel boring machine for the Snowy 2.0 project.

The German tunnel-boring machine that will connect Tantangara Reservoir to the new Snowy 2.0 underground power station. Photo: Snowy Hydro.

“This approval means work can get underway on a critical part of the project’s infrastructure, which will provide huge benefits and job opportunities for the area,” he said.

“Around 150 jobs will be created as part of the new infrastructure, with many of these being entry-level positions, with all training provided.

“These opportunities couldn’t come at a better time with many in our community facing unexpected unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

About 30 of the jobs will be created during the construction phase, with another 125 jobs being advertised once the infrastructure is operational.

The Polo Flat segment factory, 5km from Cooma, will produce 130,000 segments that make up the concrete rings that will line the Snowy 2.0 tunnel.

Snowy Hydro CEO and managing director Paul Broad said 1000 more jobs will be created indirectly through supply chains and support services. The company will also work with Monaro High School to pilot school-based trade training.

“We fought hard to build the factory locally rather than importing segments from overseas or interstate because it means local jobs, opportunities and investment,” said Mr Broad.

“During the five-month construction period, we will invest $55 million and create 30 jobs. When it is operational, it will have an annual turnover of $115 million and create 125 operational jobs.”

Mr Broad said these jobs will be welcome following the past summer’s devastating bushfires and during the current COVID-19 pandemic. About 500 people are already working on Snowy 2.0, and at its peak the workforce will comprise around 2000 people.

“This year has been extraordinarily difficult for Australia, particularly the local area,” said Mr Broad.

“At times like this, we need to continue to drive jobs and investment. That is why we have been so determined to ensure Snowy 2.0 continues full steam ahead.

“This announcement that we are starting construction on the Polo Flat segment factory is just another piece of the puzzle.

“The Snowy Mountains is an extraordinarily strong and resilient community. It will bounce back, and Snowy Hydro will be there every step of the way.”

The environmental impact assessment for the Polo Flat segment factory focused on sections of the Snowy Mountains Highway and Monaro Highway, as well as the connecting local road network between the site of the factory and construction sites within Kosciusko National Park.

Mitigation measures include reduced speed areas, intersection improvements in Cooma and upgrades to accommodate the combined impact of assumed traffic volumes in 2022 and estimated traffic associated with the usual winter peak period.

Further road maintenance will also be undertaken along with community consultation.

Snowy 2.0 illustration showing link between Tantangara and Talbingo dams.

Snowy 2.0 will generate pumped hydro by linking the Tantangara and Talbingo resevoirs. Illustration: Snowy Hydro.

Original Article published by Michael Weaver on About Regional.


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22 Responses to Green light given for drilling to commence on Snowy 2.0 tunnel from Tantangara Reservoir
Pandy Pandy 7:15 am 15 Apr 20

Will a Royal open this next exciting phase?

    Capital Retro Capital Retro 11:53 am 15 Apr 20

    That would be called a “Royal Flush” then?

Sonia Dalitz Sonia Dalitz 10:05 pm 12 Apr 20

Very exciting project!

Gerry Gageldonk Gerry Gageldonk 7:08 pm 12 Apr 20

How is it going to work ? Tantangara has never got much water in it and what there is goes to providence portal in Lake eucumbene and now you send it to talbingo thru a tunnel.

If you want water in the murrumbidgee don't stop the river flow at Tantangara ?

    Marc Blackmore Marc Blackmore 4:33 am 13 Apr 20

    Gerry Gageldonk it works like a big battery.... pump water to tantangara at night when power usage is low and cheap, and by day drain the lake making electricity.

    Gerry Gageldonk Gerry Gageldonk 11:01 am 13 Apr 20

    Marc Blackmore use more electricity than generated ? Coal fired power at night ?

    Leo Menssen Leo Menssen 11:27 am 13 Apr 20

    Water from Tantangara is mostly diverted to Eucumbene.

    Leo Menssen Leo Menssen 11:28 am 13 Apr 20

    Gerry Gageldonk Snowy 2.0 uses renewables to pump water uphill.

    Gerry Gageldonk Gerry Gageldonk 11:28 am 13 Apr 20

    Leo Menssen when there is water ??

    Leo Menssen Leo Menssen 11:29 am 13 Apr 20

    Gerry Gageldonk Tantangara and Talbingo.

    Marc Blackmore Marc Blackmore 11:46 am 13 Apr 20

    Gerry Gageldonk you should take a trip to the visitors centre when open again and educate your self on the snowy scheme, it was a nation building project and ahead of its time. 2.0 is just building on the scheme. It’s is more efficient them equal number of households installing batteries

    Gerry Gageldonk Gerry Gageldonk 11:50 am 13 Apr 20

    Marc Blackmore been to Cooma many times mate know all about the snowy scheme etc but snowy 2 was the brainchild of Turdbull and we know how his schemes turned out

    Marc Blackmore Marc Blackmore 12:01 pm 13 Apr 20

    Gerry Gageldonk ok why are you questioning the fundamentals of it then?

    Gerry Gageldonk Gerry Gageldonk 12:14 pm 13 Apr 20

    Marc Blackmore I question that it will be cost effective as they say it will and what happens to the water that used to go thru the portal to eucumbene ? It has not run for a long time and Tantangara water levels have been very low for years

    Marc Blackmore Marc Blackmore 12:17 pm 13 Apr 20

    Gerry Gageldonk as I said the water comes from talbingo and is recycled

    Colin Vivian Colin Vivian 11:17 pm 13 Apr 20

    Leo Menssen more likely coal as will buy when demand is lowest & price cheapest.

    Ashley Wright Ashley Wright 9:00 am 14 Apr 20

    Gerry Gageldonk you are right it does use more energy to pump water uphill than it generates.

    But why it “works” is at certain times of the day there is excess energy in the grid from all sources. It’s hard to shut off coal power fire stations quickly, and even harder to shut down rooftop solar and to a lesser extent wind. So at those times the excess energy is used to pump water up hill so it can be used when demand is higher.

    Hence the analogy to it being a battery. And like most batteries it is not 100% efficient, but far better to do that than to waste the excess.

    And this is nothing new, most hydro systems do this to an extent already including the Snowy Scheme.

Guy Noble Guy Noble 6:38 pm 12 Apr 20

what about Tantangara down to the cotter through corin? We could use the water just as much and give the murrimbidgee a boost

    Marc Blackmore Marc Blackmore 4:37 am 13 Apr 20

    Guy Noble the water is being recycled to generate electricity, no water water is being harvest as part of this project. Btw the cotter catchment is a very reliable catchment so no need

    Mikey Moore Mikey Moore 8:34 am 13 Apr 20

    The vertical drop from tantangera dam to corin dam would only be around 300m. Where as the Tantangera to Talbingo drop is nearly 1km.

    Colin Vivian Colin Vivian 11:15 pm 13 Apr 20

    Mikey Moore 20km tunnel = huge losses due to friction. Will use coal to pump water and only sell when market prices high so won’t lower prices either.

Capital Retro Capital Retro 4:51 pm 12 Apr 20

With massive debts being created to save the post pandemic economy, surely the Snowy 2.0 scheme, which was always of marginal benefit for a huge cost, will be cancelled.

Going forward, demand for electricity in Australia will fall so now extra generation will not be needed for many years.

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