Back in 2017, the Federal Government announced a feasibility study into the possible expansion to the Snowy Hydro Scheme in the Snowy Mountains of NSW (‘Snowy Hydro 2.0’). It was billed as being a circuit breaker in the ‘fossil fuels vs renewables’ energy debate because it would be renewable energy that will provide baseload capacity. The project would greatly enhance the pumped hydro capacity of the existing hydro scheme, meaning that water can be used multiple times to produce electricity.
While some environmentalists gave in principle support to the project, many wanted to see the details on what the physical environmental impacts of the project would be. Since then, as the environmental impacts of the project became more obvious, the movement became increasingly opposed.
Recently, a group of energy experts called on the state and federal governments to stop work on the Snowy Hydro 2.0 project.
It has also been reported that the next stage of the Snowy Hydro 2.0 expansion has been given the green light, with approval for construction of the project’s ‘Segment Factory’.
Work has now started on the facility: Snowy Hydro has already started clearing native bushland for the construction site at Lobs Hole in the heart of Kosciuszko National Park.
The NSW National Parks Association says ‘This is just the beginning. Snowy 2.0 will permanently destroy 1000’s of hectares of Kosciuszko, and dump 20 million tonnes of contaminated tunnel spoil, the equivalent of covering Sydney Harbour Bridge and its surrounds’.
The NSW Minister Planning, Rob Stokes, and NSW Minister for the Environment and Energy Matt Kean is expected to make their final decision on approvals for the project ‘any day’.
Check here for additional information on the project from the NSW National Parks Association (NSW NPA).
The NSW NPA is asking people to send a letter to the NSW government urging them to not sign off on final environmental approvals.