Australia has announced that it has sanctioned A$1.38 billion ($989.46 million) for a massive expansion of the state-owned power generator Snowy Hydro to back up wind and solar power, ahead of an election in which climate and energy policy will be hot-button concerns.
The A$4 billion development is necessary to shore up Australia's power supply as elderly coal-fired plants shut over the subsequent few decades. The plan was pushed by former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
The declaration by Prime Minister Scott Morrison had been extensively anticipated, after the Snowy Hydro board official the project in December.
"The impact we're here to talk about today is a huge investment in Australia's future. Not just our energy future, not just our climate future, but our economic future," Morrison believed, speaking at the Snowy Hydro site.
Snowy will add 2,000 megawatts (MW) of power generation through so-called pumped hydro, which acts like a huge battery, pumping water uphill between two dams.
"This will be one of the largest pumped hydro projects in the world," supposed Morrison. "Which not only reduces electricity prices and takes the pressure off electricity prices, but it creates the reliability of electricity supply."
First production from the expansion, set to surge Snowy's capacity by 50 percent, is estimated in late 2024.
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