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Australia plans 2 GW Snowy Mountains hydropower project

20 Mar 2017

The Federal government of Australia has announced plans to increase by 50% the capacity of the Snowy Hydro-Electric Scheme, from the current 4 GW to 6 GW. The government will provide A$0.5m in extra funding for a feasibility study (geological studies and technology assessment). The Australian Renewable Energy Agency will lead the project.

The Snowy Hydro hydropower complex consists of the 1,500 MW Murray dam commissioned in 1967-1969 and of the Tumut complex (616 MW commissioned in 1959-1962, 1,500 MW added in 1973 and 150 MW added through an upgrade in 2013). The project was built at a cost of A$820m and was designed to allow further extensions. Expanding the hydropower complex by 2 GW could require a total investment of A$2bn to A$5bn (from US$1.5bn to US$3.8bn).

Subject to available funding and environmental approvals, construction could start as early as in 2018.


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