as Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Authority|
2001 as Snowy Hydro Limited
|Headquarters||Cooma, New South Wales, Australia|
|New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, and the Australian Capital Territory|
|Noel Cornish (Chairman)
Paul Broad (Managing Director and CEO)
|Services||Electricity retailing, bulk water management|
|Revenue||A$1.201 billion (2013) |
|A$400 million (2013)|
|A$280 million (2013)|
|Total assets||A$2.424 billion (2013)|
|Total equity||A$1.795 billion (2013)|
|Owner||Government of New South Wales (58%),
Government of Victoria (29%)
Commonwealth Government (13%)
Number of employees
|Subsidiaries||Red Energy Pty. Limited and Valley Power Pty. Limited|
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 and one in New South Wales, and owns two electricity retailing businesses (Red Energy and Lumo Energy).
The company is jointly owned by the New South Wales (58%), Victorian (29%), and Commonwealth (13%) 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.
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 also owns a 300 MW gas-fired peaking power station in Victoria's Latrobe Valley, a 320 MW gas-fired peaking power station at Laverton North near Melbourne, and a 667 MW gas-fired peaking power station at Colongra on the Central Coast of New South Wales. 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.
|Jindabyne Dam||Mini Hydro||Turbo-pump||Jindabyne||1.1||2011|
|Jounama||Small Hydro||Turbo-pump||Near Jounama||14.4||2010|
|Laverton North||Natural gas||Gas turbines||Laverton||320||2006|
|Murray 1||Hydro||Turbo-pump||Near Khancoban||950||1967|
|Murray 2||Hydro||Turbo-pump||Near Khancoban||550||1969|
|Valley Power||Natural gas||Gas turbines||Traralgon||300||2002|
|Colongra||Natural gas||Gas turbines||Colongra||667||2009|
Water storage and diversion
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
In December 2005, the NSW Government announced it would sell its 58% share in Snowy Hydro, expecting to yield A$1 billion. The Federal and Victorian 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) expectations through a public float. 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.
Current market position
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 14 MW Jounama mini-hydro (commissioned in 2010) and growth of its retailing business, Red Energy. In 2014 Snowy Hydro purchased gas and electricity retailer Lumo Energy.
In addition Snowy Hydro has developed its gas-fired power station portfolio to reduce risks to the business due to its reliance on water as an energy source, and the potential impact of transmission constraints on the ability of the remote Snowy Mountains hydro generation assets to access the electricity grid. In January 2015 Snowy Hydro acquired the gas-fired Colongra power station in New South Wales.
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- Grubel, James (2 June 2006). "Australian government scuppers Snowy Hydro sale". Reuters. Retrieved 2 June 2006.
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- "Colongra Power Station • Snowy Hydro". Retrieved 2016-07-13.