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, three diesel power stations in South Australia, and owns two electricity retailing businesses (Red Energy and Lumo Energy).

Snowy Hydro Limited
Founded1949 (1949) as Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Authority
2001 (2001) as Snowy Hydro Limited[1]
Area served
New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, and the Australian Capital Territory
Key people
Noel Cornish (Chairman)
Paul A. Broad (Managing Director and CEO)
ProductsElectricity generation
ServicesElectricity retailing, bulk water management
RevenueIncrease A$1.201 billion (2013)[2]
Increase A$400 million (2013)[2]
Increase A$280 million (2013)[2]
Total assetsDecrease A$2.424 billion (2013)[2]
Total equityDecrease A$1.7995 billion (2013)[2]
OwnerAustralian Government
Number of employees
SubsidiariesRed Energy Pty. Limited and Valley Power Pty. Limited

The company is owned by the Australian Federal government[3] 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 Commonwealth Government is the sole shareholder of Snowy Hydro Ltd, from which it receives an annual dividend.

Generating assetsEdit

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. It also owns three diesel-powered peaking power stations in South Australia providing 136 MW between them.[4] 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.

Name Fuel Type Location Maximum
Angaston Diesel internal combustion Angaston 50 2005
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 2011
Jounama Small Hydro Turbo-pump Near Jounama 14.4 2010
Laverton North Natural gas Gas turbines Laverton 320 2006
Lonsdale Diesel internal combustion Lonsdale 21 2002
Murray 1 Hydro Turbo-pump Near Khancoban 950 1967
Murray 2 Hydro Turbo-pump Near Khancoban 550 1969
Port Stanvac Diesel internal combustion Lonsdale 65 2011
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 2003[5]
Valley Power Natural gas Gas turbines Traralgon 300 2002
Colongra Natural gas Gas turbines Colongra 667 2009[6]

Water storage and diversionEdit

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 divestmentEdit

In December 2005, the NSW Government announced it would sell its 58% share in Snowy Hydro, expecting to yield A$1 billion.[7] The Federal[8] and Victorian[9] 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)[10][11] expectations through a public float.[9] 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.[11][12][13]

In February 2014 the National Commission of Audit recommended in its Phase One Report that the Commonwealth sell its interest in Snowy Hydro.[14]

Current market positionEdit

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 September 2014 Snowy Hydro purchased gas and electricity retailer Lumo Energy for $600 million.[15] Red Energy currently has 1.6 million electricity and gas customers.

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.[citation needed] In January 2015 Snowy Hydro acquired the gas-fired Colongra power station in New South Wales.[16]

See alsoEdit


  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. ^ "Share Sale: Business as usual at Snowy Hydro". Snowy Hydro. 2 March 2018. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  4. ^ "South Australia, Home to our diesel assets". Snowy Hydro. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
  5. ^ "Australian Hydro Projects: Operating". Energy News Bulletin. Aspermont Ltd. 28 April 2006. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  6. ^ "Colongra Power Station". Snowy Hydro Limited. Archived from the original on 10 March 2015. Retrieved 9 November 2015.
  7. ^ "NSW to sell Snowy Hydro stake". Energy News Premium. 19 December 2005. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  8. ^ Stafford, Annabel (26 May 2006). "Howard intends to sell Snowy Hydro". The Age. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  9. ^ a b "Snowy Hydro sale to include 100% of shares". Hydro World. 22 February 2006. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  10. ^ "Snowy Hydro sale gets green light". The Age. Australian Associated Press. 30 March 2006. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  11. ^ a b Daley, Gemma (2 June 2006). "Snowy Hydro sake scrapped after protests". Bloomberg. United States. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  12. ^ Grubel, James (2 June 2006). "Australian government scuppers Snowy Hydro sale". Reuters. Retrieved 2 June 2006.
  13. ^ Madden, Hamish (2 June 2006). "Snowy Hydro not for sale". Financial Standard. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  14. ^ "10.1 Privatisations". Towards Responsible Government: The Report of the National Commission of Audit, Phase 1. Australian Government National Commission of Audit. February 2014. Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  15. ^ "Snowy Hydro bulks up with $600 million energy buy". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. 15 September 2014. Retrieved 19 October 2014.
  16. ^ "Colongra Power Station • Snowy Hydro". Archived from the original on 10 March 2015. Retrieved 13 July 2016.

External linksEdit