Voith Hydro receives order for Snowy 2.0 plant

26 June 2019

A major enabler for renewable expansion in Australia.

Voith Hydro has been awarded a contract to equip the Australian pumped storage power station Snowy 2.0, one of the largest pumped storage schemes in the world, with electrical and mechanical power plant components. The Future Generation Joint Venture (a Joint Venture between Salini Impregilo, Clough and Lane) and Voith signed the contract at the beginning of April. Future Generation is main contractor, while plant operator is Snowy Hydro Ltd.

The Voith Hydro order includes the supply of six reversible Francis-type pump turbines, each with a rated output of 333 MW, three of which are variable-speed. In addition, the order includes six motor generators, the auxiliary systems and the complete power plant automation. With the six units, Snowy 2.0 will achieve a total output of 2000 MW and provide the Australian national electricity market with 175 hours of continuous large-scale storage. The project can thus make a significant contribution, both to grid stabilisation and to the further expansion of power generation from renewable energy in Australia, says Voith.

The tendering process for the Snowy 2.0 project took almost two years. The pumped storage technology employs asynchronous motor-generators, doubly fed induction machines, with decoupling of mechanical speed from frequency. As a result, the system reacts faster and more flexibly to active and reactive demands from the power grid. It also offers additional stability in the event of a voltage drop.

Australia’s renewable potential

Currently, wind, solar and hydropower represent 17% of Australia’s total electricity generation. The country has the potential to meet 100% of its energy needs from renewables, Voith believes, but to significantly further increase power production from renewables and at the same time maintain grid stability it will need to expand energy storage capacity.

Pumped storage systems are currently the most economically viable and technically proven form of storing electrical energy on a large scale and the “Snowy 2.0 project marks an important milestone for Australia”, says Voith.

About Snowy 2.0

Snowy 2.0 will connect the two existing dams of the Snowy Scheme, Tantangara Dam and Talbingo Dam, through underground tunnels and an underground power station with pumping and generating capacity. The underground power house will house the six reversible pump turbines.

The first power out of Snowy 2.0 is expected in 2024.

  • Ffestiniog order. Voith Hydro has recently placed an order with Bilfinger for the provision of mechanical, electrical, maintenance and installation services at the Ffestiniog pumped storage plant in North Wales.

The deal forms part of a significant restoration project set to be completed by 2020, which will involve the refurbishment of two generating units. The facility, commissioned in 1963, was the first major pumped storage plant to be built in the UK.

Bilfinger UK will remove the plant’s existing vertical generator, turbine unit and mechanical control systems and replace electrical infrastructure, including the protection system and transformer control boards, as part of the contract. The company will also blast and paint the turbine spiral casing and pump internals. 

Snowy scheme
Talbingo reservoir
Ffestiniog pumped storage plant
Ffestiniog pumped storage plant

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