Prime Minister Announces Hydro Project

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced a $2 Billion upgrade to the Snowy Mountains Hydro electric scheme. The upgrade could add an extra 2000 megawatts of capacity (Roughly the same as the hoover dam) to the snowy hydro scheme.

While a feasibility study is expected to be completed by the end of 2017 initial estimates put the cost between $1.5-$2 billion dollars. No new dams are expected to be built but new tunnels and power plants will generate the additional capacity.

The feasibility study will explore the physical, technical and environmental requirements for expansion of pumped hydro at sites across the scheme as well as the potential output of new pumped hydro facilities and the costs associated with each project.

Snowy Hydro Managing Director and CEO, Paul Broad, said the proposal has the potential to deliver an innovative clean-energy solution to the critical security and supply issues in the NEM, helping to take the pressure off power prices for consumers and businesses, while reducing emissions.

While the project would help manage electricity supply security during times in which traditional power generators would be too slow to respond, recent news that Tesla can supply 100MWh of battery storage to South Australia in 100 days shows that the lead time for a project like this may well be its downfall.

With the ability to locate storage batteries across a distributed network rather than having to move mountains a virtual storage plant can be built across a whole city connected not only to the grid but also networked to the internet where they can send and receive information to each other.


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