The Australian Government has taken full ownership of Snowy Hydro Limited in a ‘historic’ deal that it says paves the way for the Snowy 2.0 project to proceed to a final investment decision by the independent Snowy Board.
A joint statement from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Federal Minister for Finance Mathias Cormann and Federal Minister for the Environment and Energy Josh Frydenberg said Snowy Hydro will continue to operate as an independent company with the infrastructure remaining in public ownership.
“Snowy Hydro is a critical player within the National Electricity Market (NEM). The company owns and operates 5500 MW of generation capacity including the iconic Snowy Mountains Scheme,” the statement read.
“Snowy 2.0 is a proposed expansion of the Snowy Mountains Scheme and will provide an additional generation capacity of 2000 MW, enough to power the equivalent of 500,000 homes at peak demand.
“The project will help make renewables reliable, reduce volatility in energy markets and provide other services critical to the security of the NEM.
According to the statement, the Snowy 2.0 feasibility study – released earlier this year – found that the project is technically and financially feasible and Snowy Hydro can finance the project itself using retained earnings and borrowings.
The Snowy Hydro Board is expected to make a final investment decision on the Snowy 2.0 project later this year.