The first of three TBMs that will work on Snowy 2 – the pumped hydro expansion of Australia’s existing Snowy Mountain renewable energy scheme, has been arrived to Port Kembla, south of Sydney.
Components of the TBM – some weighing 174t – has been transported by special trailer to storage from where they will be finally taken to the worksite. Constructed by CREG, the 11m-diameter TBM has been designed to excavate the 9% gradient, 2.6km main access tunnel to the power plant placed 1km underground.
It is expected to have the excavation of the MAT started by the end of 2020. When the TBM has completed its drive, it is going to start boring the 5.8km-long tailrace tunnel. Exploratory construction work has been underway for over 12 months with nearly 500 workers already working on the project.
Webuild (the former Salini Impregilo) is constructing the tunnels on behalf of Snowy Hydro as part of the Future Generation JV with US subsidiary Lane and local partner Clough.
Strategically located between Melbourne and Sydney, Snowy 2.0 will provide 2,000 MW of energy generation. It will connect two existing dams that are Talbingo and Tantangara, through 27km of tunnels which contain tailrace, headrace, penstock, pressure, collector, draft tube, distributor, and access tunnels.
The turbines are reversible to enable water to be pumped back up to the top reservoir when cheap (surplus) energy is available – and be stored to generate energy if required. As water is recycled between current storages, it uses no extra water and gives water management flexibility, especially in times of drought.
Source: Tunnels and Tunneling
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