Aug 16, 2017 Last Updated 2:16 PM, Aug 16, 2017

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Iconic Snowy Hydro scheme to get $2 billion renovation

hydroelectric power stationAusBNAusBN - The federal government has announced plans for a AUS$2 billion expansion to the Snowy Hydro scheme, which could increase power output at the project by 50%.

The vast hydroelectric and irrigation complex in South-East Australia was built between 1949 and 1974, with the work set to be the first major expansion at the site since it first opened.

Energy minister Josh Frydenberg said the work will involve the construction of three new sets of tunnels and systems up to 27km in length.

Frydenberg added: “The amount of new power we're talking about here will be bigger than the Hazelwood power plant which is scheduled to close at the end of this month.

“This is a game changing announcement, something that is iconic in Australia and I think it should be welcomed by all Australians.”

A feasibility study will get underway shortly at the site, which is comprised of 16 dams, seven power stations and 225km of tunnels.

The project has been endorsed by the Clean Energy Council, with the increased energy output from the expansion enough to power 500,000 homes.  

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