Snowy 2.0, the 2,000 megawatt pumped hydro battery, was announced on 15 March 2017.
It was to be built by 2021, for $2 billion, fully funded by Snowy Hydro Ltd at no cost to the taxpayer, have minimal environmental impact, provide renewable energy and reduce electricity prices. None of those claims has eventuated.
The case for Snowy 2.0 doesn’t stack up economically, technically or environmentally. Simply, it is the wrong project in the wrong location. There are better alternatives, ones that avoid catastrophic impacts on Kosciusko National Park.
While NPA strongly supports a rapid shift to renewable energy to decarbonise the electricity sector and supports pumped hydro as a component of this shift, it opposes Snowy 2.0.
We need your help! Please send a letter to the NSW Planning and Environment Ministers today. Say no to overhead transmission lines through Kosciuszko National Park!
Open letters to the Prime Minister and NSW Premier, and the NSW Planning Minister and NSW Environment and Energy Minister from groups of eminent experts in the energy and environment sectors opposing Snowy 2.0.
18 Jan 2021 Letter to NSW Planning Minister and Environment and Energy Minister, with Background Paper and Addendum, from two dozen environmental groups and 50 experts, titled “Snowy 2.0 transmission must be underground”
6 Apr 2020 Letter to NSW Planning Minister and Environment and Energy Minister, from 17 environmental organisations and nine experts, titled “Approving the Snowy 2.0 EIS would have unprecedented environmental ramifications”
24 Mar 2020 Letter to Prime Minister and NSW Premier from 30 experts, titled “Expensive, damaging and unnecessary Snowy 2.0 must be publicly reviewed before proceeding”
17 Sep 2020 Letter to Prime Minister and NSW Premier, from 37 experts titled “Adverse revelations continue – Snowy 2.0 folly demands urgent review”
NPA Paper: Snowy 2.0 claims don’t stack up, 26 Feb 2020
NPA Paper: Snowy 2.0 Doesn’t Stack Up, 15 Oct 2019
Fact sheet: Snowy 2.0 Doesn’t Stack Up, 15 Oct 2019
HumeLink Stage 1 Contingent Project Application (to AER), 30 May 2022, submitting that the AER’s processing of TransGrid’s CPA should be placed on hold until the PACR and its preferred Option 3C are comprehensively assessed
NPA Paper on Snowy 2.0 Transmission Connection RTS/PIR, 31 Mar 2022, submitting that the RTS/PIR does not provide any basis for concluding that overhead transmission is the best option
for connecting the Snowy 2.0 power station to the grid. Approval should be denied and a fresh set
of SEARS issued for an underground connection.
Snowy 2.0 Main Works Modification, 6 Nov 2021, opposing the project but offering conditional support for the proposed Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) between Lobs Hole and Marica as it involves less environmental impact than the alternate overhead lines
Snowy 2.0 Transmission Connection Project EIS, 2 Apr 2021, opposing overhead line transmission
KNP Plan Of Management proposed amendment, 22 Mar 2021, strenuously opposing the proposed amendment to Section 12.6 of the Kosciuszko National Park Plan of Management to exempt the Snowy 2.0 Project from the requirement that ‘all additional telecommunication and transmission lines (are) to be located underground’
Snowy 2.0 Main Works EIS, 6 Nov 2019, opposing the project
Exploratory Works EIS Modification 2, 21 Nov 2019, opposing the modification
Exploratory Works EIS Modification 1, 8 Jul 2019, opposing the fragmented approach to approving segments of the project
Snowy 2.0 Main Works Preferred Infrastructure Report, 20 Mar 2020, remaining firmly of the view that the environmental impacts of the proposal are entirely inappropriate in a protected area and that the Minister should deny project approval
NPA Judicial Review Summons, 17 Aug 2020, seeking orders to quash the approval of the Snowy 2.0
Snowy 2.0 tunnel-boring machine grinds to halt and hole appears on surface, ABC 7.30, 13 Feb 2023
Snowy 2.0 is massively over budget and running way behind schedule, ABC 7.30 Report, 17 June 2022
Critics of Snowy Hydro 2.0 say project could be a costly mistake, ABC 7.30 Report, 15 Oct 2019
Snowy Hydro 2.0 a costly white elephant that won’t deliver, says energy expert, ABC, 14 Oct 2019
Snowy Mountains Scheme, Utopia, 29 Aug 2014
Articles & Media Releases
Disastrous tunnelling delays underline folly of Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro scheme, RenewEconomy, 12 Feb 2023
Snowy Hydro finally fesses up on delays to Snowy 2.0, and for Kurri Kurri too
Former energy boss sounds $10b warning on Snowy 2.0, AFR 15 Oct 2019
Snowy 2.0 power lines clearing ‘will despoil’ long swathe of Kosciuszko national park, wildlife groups say
Five years on, Snowy 2.0 emerges as a $10 billion white elephant, SMH 15 Mar 2022
- Call for audit of environmental impacts of Snowy 2.0 on Kosciuszko National Park In response to revelations about the environmental damage inflicted by Snowy Hydro’s bogged tunnel boring machine (see https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-02-13/snowy-2.0-tunnel-boring-machine-grinds-to-halt-and/101968974 ), the National Parks Association of NSW…
Read More Call for audit of environmental impacts of Snowy 2.0 on Kosciuszko National Park
- Kosciuszko National Park – it’s not a tipDocuments tabled in the NSW Legislative Council reveal that the NSW Government will only receive $1.65 million from Snowy Hydro Ltd for the dumping of…
- Submission Guide Snowy 2.0 Transmission ConnectionThe NSW Government has exhibited an Environmental Impact Statement to build massive transmission towers through Kosciuszko National Park. The proposed ‘overhead’ connection links the new…
Read More Submission Guide Snowy 2.0 Transmission Connection
- Protections for Kosciuszko National Park stripped away for Snowy 2.0The National Parks Association of NSW (NPA) has expressed outrage that the NSW Government plans to overturn the Plan of Management for Kosciuszko National Park. …
Read More Protections for Kosciuszko National Park stripped away for Snowy 2.0
- The Snowy 2.0 electricity connection must go undergroundTwenty four organisations and fifty expert engineers, scientists, environmentalists, academics and economists, are calling on Planning Minister Rob Stokes and Environment Minister Matt Kean to…
Read More The Snowy 2.0 electricity connection must go underground
- Another dud energy project approved by the NSW GovernmentYesterday’s approval of the Narrabri Gas project signals the demise of any pretense of objective environmental impact assessment in NSW.
- Experts confirm Snowy 2.0 is an economic dud and environmental disasterNew revelations confirm that Snowy 2.0 is an environmental and economic disaster. The NSW and Commonwealth were warned that the Business Case for the massive…
Read More Experts confirm Snowy 2.0 is an economic dud and environmental disaster
- Unlimited legal costs force withdrawal of Snowy 2.0 legal challengeThe National Parks Association of NSW, faced with exposure to unlimited legal costs, was forced to withdraw a legal challenge in the Land and Environment…
Read More Unlimited legal costs force withdrawal of Snowy 2.0 legal challenge
- CONFIRMED: Snowy 2.0 just doesn’t make senseThe most recent forecast by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO 2020 ISP) exposes the lie that vast areas of Kosciuszko National Park must be…
- Approval of Snowy 2.0 will decimate Kosciuszko National ParkToday’s approval by the Commonwealth Minister for Environment of the Snowy 2.0 project opens the way for an infrastructure white elephant that will decimate Kosciuszko…
Read More Approval of Snowy 2.0 will decimate Kosciuszko National Park
- Deeply flawed environmental approval process for Snowy 2.0 revealedThe National Parks Association of NSW (NPA) has questioned the Commonwealth Government’s ability to assess the environmental impact statement for the Snowy 2.0 Main Works…
Read More Deeply flawed environmental approval process for Snowy 2.0 revealed
- Top scientist’s resignation demands Snowy 2.0 rethink“The resignation of the Chair of the NSW Fisheries Scientific Committee, Associate Professor Mark Lintermans, puts a spotlight on the NSW Government’s refusal to take…
Read More Top scientist’s resignation demands Snowy 2.0 rethink
- NSW Government sells out Kosciuszko National ParkApproval of Snowy 2.0 EIS sets appalling precedents, and all for an inferior project “Today’s approval of the Snowy 2.0 construction project in Kosciuszko National…
- Snowy 2.0 doesn’t stack upGary Dunnett, Executive Officer, National Parks Association of NSW In Australia the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Scheme stands head and shoulders above every other nation building…
- NSW Government must save Kosciuszko National ParkApproval of Snowy 2.0 EIS would set appalling precedents, and all for an inferior project “Despite the rapidly growing realisation that the massive Snowy 2.0 development…
- Approving the Snowy 2.0 EIS would have unprecedented environmental ramifications26 Environment Organisations and Eminent Experts Urge Refusal 26 environment organisations and environmental experts have called on the NSW Minister for Planning, Hon Rob Stokes,…
Read More Approving the Snowy 2.0 EIS would have unprecedented environmental ramifications
- Expensive, damaging and unnecessarySnowy 2.0 must be publicly reviewed before proceeding 30 eminent Australian energy, engineering, economic and environmental experts have called on the Prime Minister and NSW…
- Snowy 2.0 claims don’t ‘stack up’The National Parks Association of NSW today released a comprehensive research paper that found all of the claimed benefits of the Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro…
- Snowy 2.0 to spread noxious fish and disease throughout Kosciuszko National Park and downstream riversScientific experts have warned that if the massive Snowy 2.0 pumped hydrodevelopment goes ahead it will spread noxious pests, weeds and diseasesthroughout the alpine river…
Read More Snowy 2.0 to spread noxious fish and disease throughout Kosciuszko National Park and downstream rivers
- Opposition to Snowy 2.0 swellsGrowing opposition to the unacceptable environmental impact, immense cost and dubious community benefits of the Snowy 2.0 project is proven by the recently released public…
- Snowy 2.0 will push up electricity pricesSnowy Hydro predicts electricity prices will rise due to Snowy 2.0 A Snowy Hydro report recently discovered by National Parks Association of NSW, predicts that…
- Does Snowy 2.0 ‘stack up’?In a word – NO! The National Parks Association of NSW today released a comprehensive research paper which demonstrates that the Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro…
Snowy 2.0 Impacts
The potential impacts of Snowy 2.0 are staggering:
- The ‘project area’ described in the EIS is 250,000 ha, one third of Kosciuszko National Park and three times the size of metropolitan Sydney.
- The EIS seriously understates the full environmental impact on the Park, which, when vegetation clearance, earthworks, dumping and damage to streams and water-dependant ecosystems are included will exceed 10,000 ha.
- Even the EIS admits that the Main Works will ‘disturb’ 1,680 ha, clear 1,053 ha of native vegetation and destroy 992 ha of threatened species habitat.
- 14 million cubic metres of excavated spoil, some of which contains asbestos and/or is acidic, will be dumped in Kosciuszko National Park. Most of the spoil will go into Talbingo and Tantangara Reservoirs, decreasing their storage capacities, with the remainder to go into roads or to ‘landscape’ the park.
- Major infrastructure, including the widening and construction of 100 km of roads and tracks are proposed throughout the project area. Some of which will destroy sensitive environmental and geological significant areas. Under normal circumstances these would not be allowed within a National Park, so why under Snowy 2.0?
- Two side-by-side high voltage transmission lines for 10 km through the Park, with a 120m wide easement swathe.
- Snowy 2.0 requires tunnelling through 27 kms of rock. This will depress the water table in some sections by more than 50 m and have an impact for up to 2 kms either side of the tunnel. This will lead to montane streams and water dependant alpine bogs drying up, further impacting upon vulnerable habitats and native species. It will also lead to a reduction of inflows to Snowy reservoirs and downstream rivers. These river systems are already under threat from feral animals and global heating. Any works that threaten water quality and quantity must be avoided.
- Noxious pests and weeds will be spread throughout the Snowy Scheme and downstream, including Redfin Perch (a Class One Noxious Pest) and aquatic weeds. These pests and weeds will be transported from Talbingo Reservoir up to pest-free Tantangara, the Upper Murrumbidgee catchment, and then to Eucumbene and throughout the Snowy Scheme and downstream rivers.
- Kosciuszko National Park is one of the most loved and frequently visited Parks in Australia. Snowy 2.0 will put off future visitors by its visual blight on the pristine montane landscape from vantage points over thousands of square kilometres. Who wants to see transmission lines and major civil engineering structures in a natural landscape? And who will want to fish in Tantangara anymore, with introduced pest species?
- The EIS contains a totally incomplete and inadequate assessment of alternatives to Snowy 2.0. How can such an environmentally destructive development be proposed without an exhaustive exploration of viable alternatives? Kosciuszko is a National Park, not an industrial park!
- Snowy Hydro claims that Snowy 2.0 will benefit the renewable energy sector. Yet, for the next decade or so, most of the pumping electricity for Snowy 2.0 will come from coal-fired power stations, not renewables. Worse still, Snowy 2.0 will be a net consumer of electricity, not a generator, with ‘round-trip’ losses of 30%, plus another 10% for transmission.
- Not only is Snowy 2.0 environmental vandalism, it isn’t economic. The original $2 billion cost estimate is now approaching $10 billion, including transmission.
- Many other pumped storage opportunities have been identified in NSW with a combined capacity considerably greater than Snowy 2.0. Why were these alternatives, together with batteries and other forms of storage, not explored before proposing construction of such a huge project within a National Park?
Never before has a project of such immense size and environmental destruction been proposed within a National Park.
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