Components for the first three tunnel boring machines (TBM) have arrived at the site of the Snowy 2.0 project, one of Australia’s largest renewable energy projects.
Measuring in at 137 metres in length and 11 metres in diameter, the TBM will excavate a tunnel for 2660 metres to where a cavern will be dug to house the power plant.
Heavy trucks delivered the front shield, gear ring probe drill and main seal from Port Kembla, passing through the town of Cooma in the Snowy Mountains.
The main drive, the TBM’s heaviest component at 174 tonnes, has also been delivered to the site.
Construction teams will also excavate waterways, access tunnels and other supporting infrastructure with the two other TBMs, which are set to arrive on site in the coming months.
- Snowy Hydro 2.0 gets environmental green light
- Snowy Hydro 2.0 approved, progresses to early works
- Snowy Hydro $5.1B construction contract awarded
Workers will also build access roads, camp accommodation, and have excavated the main access tunnel portal in the Snowy Mountains.
A pre-cast factory and bathing plant in Cooma will produce the 130,500 concrete segments that will line the 40 kilometres of tunnels to be excavated.
More than 500 people and 100 local businesses are currently involved with the project, which is expected to create around 4000 jobs during its life.
Snowy 2.0 is one of the largest renewable energy projects in Australia that aims to expand Snowy Hydro Limited’s network of hydro power stations.
The project will provide an additional 2000 megawatts of fast start, dispatchable energy and provide 350,000 megawatt hours of large-scale storage, enough to power the equivalent of 500,000 homes for more than a week during peak demand.
It aims to reduce volatility in the market, support reliability and bring down the power prices for households and businesses. The Snowy Scheme already generates around a third of the renewable energy in Australia’s National Electricity Market.