Cosmos - - Cosmos Science Club -

FOR AN EN­GI­NEER­ING geek the stats are mind- bend­ing: 16 huge dams hold­ing enough wa­ter to fill Syd­ney Har­bour 12 times over. 145 km of tun­nels drilled through solid moun­tain rock. 80 km of aquaducts. Nine power sta­tions pro­duc­ing 4,100 megawatts of clean energy, pow­er­ing hun­dreds of thou­sands of house­holds across New South Wales and Vic­to­ria.

Australia’s Snowy Hy­dro scheme re­mains by far the largest en­gi­neer­ing project ever un­der­taken in the na­tion. Started in 1949, the scheme took 25 years to build. More than 100,000 peo­ple worked on its con­struc­tion.

Now it could be about to get even big­ger, with plans afoot for a ‘ pumped hy­dro’ ex­pan­sion that would add an ex­tra 2,000 megawatts of power gen­er­a­tion. It would turn the Snowy wa­ter­ways into one of the world’s big­gest vir­tual batteries, with a ca­pac­ity equal to 35 mil­lion Tesla Pow­er­walls.

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