Snowy Hydro

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Snowy Hydro Limited
Type Corporation
Industry Energy
Founded 1949 (1949) as Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Authority
2001 (2001) as Snowy Hydro Limited[1]
Headquarters Cooma, New South Wales, Australia
Area served New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, and the Australian Capital Territory
Key people Bruce Hogan AM (Chairman)
Pual Broad (Managing Director and CEO)
Products Electricity generation
Services Electricity retailing, bulk water management
Revenue Increase A$1.201 billion (2013) [2]
Operating income Increase A$400 million (2013)[2]
Net income Increase A$280 million (2013)[2]
Total assets Decrease A$2.424 billion (2013)[2]
Total equity Decrease A$1,795 billion (2013)[2]
Owners Commonwealth Government (13%),
Government of New South Wales (58%) and
Government of Victoria (29%)
Employees 650
Subsidiaries Red Energy Pty. Limited and Valley Power Pty Limited
Website www.snowyhydro.com.au

Snowy Hydro Limited is an electricity generation and retailing company in Australia that owns, manages, and maintains the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Scheme which consists of nine hydro-electric power stations and sixteen large dams connected by 145 kilometres (90 mi) of tunnels and 80 kilometres (50 mi) of aqueducts located mainly in the Kosciuszko National Park. Snowy Hydro also owns and operates two gas-fired power stations in Victoria.

The company is jointly owned by the Commonwealth (13%), New South Wales (58%) and Victorian (29%) governments and whilst not a statutory corporation, is established by the Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Power Act 1949 (Cth). Prior to its incorporation under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), the company was previously known as Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Authority.

Generating assets[edit]

The company manages the Snowy Mountains Scheme which generates on average around 4,500 gigawatt hours of clean, renewable energy each year, which is around 37% of all renewable energy in the mainland National Electricity Market in 2010.

The company owns an electricity and gas retailer, Red Energy which operates in Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales, a 300 MW gas-fired peaking power station in Victoria's Latrobe Valley and a 320MW gas-fired peaking power station at Laverton North near Melbourne. The company's production assets are summarised in the table below. These assets are used to generate electricity for sale under contract to the National Electricity Market.

The company has continued to grow with investment into Snowy Scheme modernisation projects, cloud seeding, development of mini hydro opportunities such as the 14MW Jounama mini hydro and growth of its retailer, Red Energy. In addition Snowy Hydro is seeking to expand its gas-fired power station portfolio. This strategy is aimed at reducing risks to the business due to its reliance on water as an energy source, and due to the Snowy Mountains Scheme's geographical isolation on the electricity grid making it subject to transmission constraints in some circumstances


Name Fuel Type Location Maximum
Capacity
(MW)
Commissioned
Blowering Hydro Turbo-pump Blowering Dam 80 1969
Guthega Hydro Turbo-pump Near Guthega 60 1955
Jindabyne Dam Mini Hydro Turbo-pump Jindabyne 1.1 under
construction
Jounama Small Hydro Turbo-pump Near Jounama 14.4 2010
Laverton North Natural gas Gas turbines Laverton 163 2006
Murray 1 Hydro Turbo-pump Near Khancoban 950 1967
Murray 2 Hydro Turbo-pump Near Khancoban 550 1969
Tumut 1 Hydro Turbo-pump Tumut 330 1959
Tumut 2 Hydro Turbo-pump Tumut 286 1962
Tumut 3 Hydro Turbo-pump Tumut 1,500 1973
Micro Hydro Turbo-pump Tumut 0.720 1994
Valley Power Natural gas Gas turbines Traralgon 300 2002

Water storage and diversion[edit]

As part of the company's responsibilities for managing the Snowy Mountain Scheme, Snowy Hydro Limited also collects, stores, and diverts water for irrigation from the Snowy Mountains catchment west to the Murray and Murrumbidgee River systems under what is called the Snowy Water Licence. Granted as part of the Snowy Hydro Corporatisation Act, 1997 (NSW) for fixed five year terms, this licence prescribes the rights and obligations on the company with respect to the collection, diversion, storage, use, and release of water within the Snowy area. The Snowy Water Licence also imposes some obligations on the company in terms of releasing environmental flows east into the Snowy River and other rivers in the Snowy Mountains region.

Proposed public divestment[edit]

In December 2005, the NSW Government announced it would sell its 58% share in Snowy Hydro, expecting to yield A$1 billion.[3] The Federal[4] and Victorian[5] governments had followed suit, announcing by mid-February 2006 the intent to sell their 13% and 29% respectively, with A$1.7 billion (ranging up to A$3 billion)[6][7] expectations through a public float.[5] Pre-registration for shares in Snowy Hydro opened in mid May and it was expected that the float would take place some time in July. Over 200,000 people pre-registered to purchase shares in the company over two weeks.

On 2 June 2006, the Federal Government announced that it would no longer sell its 13% stake in the project, effectively forcing the hands of the New South Wales and Victorian governments to follow suit. The aborted sale followed strong opposition from the public, including government MPs and prominent Australians.[8][9][7]

In February 2014 the National Commission of Audit recommended in its Phase One Report that the Commonwealth sell its interest in Snowy Hydro.[10]

Current market position[edit]

Since privatisation was cancelled in 2006, the company has continued to grow with investment into Snowy Scheme modernisation projects, cloud seeding, development of mini hydro opportunities such as the 14MW Jounama mini hydro and growth of its retailer, Red Energy.

In addition Snowy Hydro is seeking to expand its gas-fired power station portfolio. This strategy is aimed at reducing risks to the business due to its reliance on water as an energy source, and due to the Snowy Mountains Scheme's geographical isolation on the electricity grid making it subject to transmission constraints in some circumstances.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "ABN Lookup - Historical details for ABN: 17 090 574 431". Retrieved 9 August 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Company FY'13 Results" (PDF). 
  3. ^ "NSW to sell Snowy Hydro stake". Energy News Premium. 19 December 2005. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  4. ^ Stafford, Annabel (26 May 2006). "Howard intends to sell Snowy Hydro". The Age. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "Snowy Hydro sale to include 100% of shares". Hydro World. 22 February 2006. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  6. ^ "Snowy Hydro sale gets green light". The Age. AAP. 30 March 2006. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  7. ^ a b Daley, Gemma (2 June 2006). "Snowy Hydro sake scrapped after protests". Bloomberg (United States). Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  8. ^ Grubel, James (2 June 2006). "Australian government scuppers Snowy Hydro sale". Reuters. Retrieved 2 June 2006. 
  9. ^ Madden, Hamish (2 June 2006). "Snowy Hydro not for sale". Financial Standard. Retrieved 17 December 2011. 
  10. ^ http://www.ncoa.gov.au/report/phase%2Done/part-b/10-1-privatisations.html

External links[edit]