The NSW state government has announced approval for exploratory works for the Snowy 2.0 project.

“Snowy Hydro is an iconic, Australian success story, part of the fabric of our nation and of the community here in the Snowy Mountains,” deputy premier and minister for regional NSW John Barilaro says.

“Snowy 2.0 involves expanding the existing Snowy Scheme with the construction and operation of a new pumped hydro power station. It could increase the generation capacity of the existing Snowy Scheme by almost 50 percent and provide 350,000 megawatt hours of large-scale storage capacity for the National Energy Market,” he says.

NSW minister for Planning Anthony Roberts says the approval would allow exploratory works to investigate the underground conditions at the proposed location for a power station cavern.

“Snowy Hydro Limited sought approval to construct a 3.1km tunnel and supporting infrastructure, as part of the Exploratory Works for Snowy 2.0.”

“Snowy 2.0 is ‘critical’ significant state infrastructure because of its potential to contribute to the future security and reliability of our energy system, and to deliver associated economic and broader environmental benefits. This approval allows essential geological information to be gathered for the detailed design of the underground power station,” he says.

The Snowy 2.0 main works EIS will be publicly exhibited to provide the community with an opportunity to comment.