Snowy Hydro 2.0 gains environmental approval

More than half a billion dollars will be invested in delivering new water infrastructure projects for regional communities through the Federal Government’s National Water Infrastructure Development Fund.The largest renewable energy project in Australia, Snowy Hydro 2.0 has been given environmental approval.

The project is hoped to create thousands of jobs, in construction and ongoing.

Civil works for the project will be carried out by Future Generation which is a partnership between Australian engineering and construction firm Clough and tunnelling and hydropower specialists Salini Impregilo.

For electrical and mechanical works Voith Hydro have been contracted. They will deliver the latest hydro-generation technology in the new Snowy 2.0 power station.

Australian company Leed Engineering and Construction has been awarded the contract for exploratory works, pre- construction activities and roads.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced that Commonwealth environmental approval for the project has been granted after a rigorous environmental process.

“This marks the final step in the planning and approvals phase and the beginning of a new wave of jobs and investment for the region, which will guarantee clean, affordable energy and position our country for the future,” Mr. Morrison said.

“Just as the original Snowy Hydro project brought jobs and prosperity to Australia after the Second World War, Snowy 2.0 will help Australia grow its way out of the economic challenges from the coronavirus.”

Mr. Morrison said Snowy 2.0 is already creating a jobs boom, with over 100 local businesses benefiting from the Government’s investment to date, with much more local investment to come.

Over the life of the project Snowy 2.0 will create 4,000 direct jobs, as well as many more indirect jobs as flow-on benefits are realised by local businesses and the broader region.

Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said the rigorous environmental assessment underlined the importance of the bilateral assessment with NSW.

“Not only has the approval paved the way for critical infrastructure that will help the environment, it has ensured vital funding for protecting the area’s biodiversity,” Ms. Ley said.

“The final Commonwealth review resulted in additional conditions around heritage, public transparency on data used to underpin mitigation strategies and the protection of native fish species.”

Snowy Hydro will invest close to 100 million in biodiversity and environmental enhancements as part of the approval.

This will include establishing an offset fund of up to $73.8m through the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service to protect threatened species and deliver long-term conservation outcomes.

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