Tumut Hydroelectric Power Station

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Tumut 1 Power Station
Tumut Pond aerial.jpg
An aerial photo of Tumut Pondage and dam, 2009.
Coordinates35°52′53″S 148°22′01″E / 35.88139°S 148.36694°E / -35.88139; 148.36694
Opening date1959
Owner(s)Snowy Hydro
CreatesTumut Pond Reservoir
Total capacity52,793 ML (1,864.4×10^6 cu ft)
Catchment area332 km2 (128 sq mi)
Surface area202.7 ha (501 acres)
Power Station
Operator(s)Snowy Hydro
Commission date1959
Hydraulic head292.6 m (960 ft)
Installed capacity330 MW (440,000 hp)
Annual generation847 GWh (3,050 TJ)
Tumut 2 Hydroelectric Power Station
Service entrance to the Tumut 2 Power Station
Official nameTumut 2 Hydroelectric Power Station
LocationSnowy Mountains Scheme, New South Wales
Opening dateTumut 2: 1962
Owner(s)Snowy Hydro Limited
Power Station
Installed capacityTumut 2: 286.4 MW (384,100 hp)
Tumut 3 Power Station
Tumut 3 Power Station
Official nameTumut Hydroelectric Power Station 3
Coordinates35°36′40″S 148°17′29″E / 35.61111°S 148.29139°E / -35.61111; 148.29139
Opening date1973
CreatesTalbingo Reservoir
Total capacity921,400 ML (32,540×10^6 cu ft)
Power Station
Hydraulic head150.9 m (495 ft)
Installed capacity1,650 MW (2,210,000 hp)
Tumut 3 Power Station at www.snowyhydro.com.au

Tumut Hydroelectric Power Station (/ˈtjmət/)[1] is a series of three hydroelectric power stations on the Tumut River in New South Wales, Australia, that are part of the Snowy Mountains Scheme.

The generating assets of the three Tumut power stations are owned by Snowy Hydro Limited, a company whose shareholders include the governments of Australia, New South Wales, and Victoria. The company is also licensed to manage the water rights used by the power stations.


Tumut 1 Power Station[edit]

Located downstream of Tumut Pond Dam and 366 metres (1,201 ft) below ground level,[2] Tumut 1 Power Station is situated approximately 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) south-east of Cabramurra. The conventional hydroelectric power station has four turbine generators, with a generating capacity of 330 megawatts (440,000 hp) of electricity; and a net generation of 847 gigawatt-hours (3,050 TJ) per annum.[3] The power station was completed in 1959, and has 292.6 metres (960 ft) rated head.[2]

The first 330 kV transmission lines were commissioned in New South Wales at the Tumut 1 Power Station during the 1950s. These cables were manufactured in England and linked to the underground transformers at Tumut 1, and connected with the transmission line. The lines carried power to Sydney where new sub-stations were established, to handle the upgrade from 132 kV transmission lines. This innovative plan, which faced significant scepticism initially, was considered to be at the forefront of technology which challenged designers and overseas manufacturers. Extra high voltage was in its infancy in the early 1950s. The lines were subject to a 1000 kV test on the cables prior to them going into service. These cables and the transmission system have been in service for over 50 years.[4]

The original transformer at Tumut 1 weighed 81.2 tonnes (89.5 short tons); and each assembled generator rotor is in excess of 203 tonnes (224 short tons) necessitating delivery in component pieces and assembly on site.[5]

Upper Tumut Power Station is sometimes used as a collective term to refer to both Tumut 1 and Tumut 2 Power Stations.

Tumut 2 Power Station[edit]

Tumut 2 Power Station is located near Cabramurra, some 244 metres (801 ft) below ground level.[6] The conventional hydroelectric power station has four Francis turbine generators, with a combined generating capacity of 286.4 megawatts (384,100 hp) and a net generation of 787 gigawatt-hours (2,830 TJ) per annum. The power station was completed in 1962, and has 262.1 metres (860 ft) rated head. Water flows through the turbines at the rate of 118.9 cubic metres per second (4,200 cu ft/s).[6]

The conventional gravity-fed hydroelectric power station is fed by water held in Tumut Two Pondage and from water discharged from Tumut 1 Power Station. The station is connected to the National Electricity Market via the Cabramurra substation.[6]

Tumut 3 Power Station[edit]

Tumut 3 Power Station is the first pumped storage hydroelectric power station in Australia.[7] Pump-storage schemes use off-peak energy to pump water to a reservoir on a higher level. This water then passes through turbines to generate electricity when prices are higher.[8] The sole powerhouse is located above ground, below Talbingo Dam.[7]

The power station is fitted with six Toshiba turbines, each equipped with Melco-manufactured generators,[7] has a combined generating capacity of 1,800 megawatts (2,400,000 hp) of electricity. Three of the six units can operate as pumps. The power station was completed in 1973, upgraded in 2012 and has 150.9 metres (495 ft) rated head. Water is carried in six pipelines, each 488 metres (1,601 ft) long and 5.6 metres (18 ft) in diameter,[9] delivering water both from and to Talbingo Reservoir.

During 2003, Snowy Hydro commissioned six 140 kilowatts (190 hp) micro-hydro generators on the existing cooling water systems on each of the six generating units at Tumut 3 Power Station. These GreenPower accredited units enable Snowy Hydro to save approximately 3,137 tonnes (3,458 short tons) of carbon dioxide per annum. In addition, this installation not only captures previous wasted renewable energy, but also will be substantially reducing the noise that was associated with the previous pressure reducing valves on the six generating unit's cooling systems.[10][11] Between 2009 and December 2011, there was a major upgrade of Tumut 3, adding additional capacity in the range of 25 megawatts (34,000 hp) to 50 megawatts (67,000 hp) per unit.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Macquarie Dictionary, Fourth Edition. Melbourne: The Macquarie Library Pty Ltd. 2005. ISBN 1-876429-14-3.
  2. ^ a b "Tumut-1 Hydroelectric Power Station Australia". Global Energy Observatory. 11 May 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  3. ^ "Register of Large Dams in Australia" (Excel (requires download)). Dams information. The Australian National Committee on Large Dams Incorporated. 2010. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  4. ^ "Innovations". Snowy! The power of a nation. Powerhouse Museum. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  5. ^ "Lifting devices". Snowy! The power of a nation. Powerhouse Museum. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  6. ^ a b c "Tumut-2 Hydroelectric Power Station Australia". Global Energy Observatory. 23 May 2012. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
  7. ^ a b c "Tumut-3 Pumped Storage Hydroelectric Power Plant Australia". Global Energy Observatory. 11 May 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  8. ^ "The Engineering". Energy: Hydro. Snowy Hydro Limited. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  9. ^ "The Snowy Mountains Scheme". Technology in Australia 1788-1988. Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre. 2000. Retrieved 11 December 2006.
  10. ^ "Australian Hydro Projects: Operating". Energy News Bulletin. Aspermont Ltd. 28 April 2006. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  11. ^ "Tumut 3 Micro Hydro Generators". Energy: Mini Hydro Developments. Snowy Hydro Limited. Retrieved 6 May 2013.

External links[edit]

Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap 
Download coordinates as: KML · GPX