Essay by Eric Worrall
First published JoNova; At this rate Snowy 2, the keystone of Australia’s renewable energy roadmap, will take over 40 years to complete.
A sinkhole, toxic gas and the $2 billion mistake behind Snowy 2.0’s blowout
It was the start of night shift when the tunnel began filling with gas.
Workers going underground at the Snowy 2.0 site say they were told that there was nothing to worry about, that it was just water vapour.
But on that Saturday in early July, chemistry had finally caught up with them.
The previous year, the giant machine digging tunnels for the project had caused a sinkhole to open up.
Workers had spent seven months trying to stabilise the nearby ground, pumping in thousands of litres of grout, cement and polyurethane foam.
Now that foam had triggered a chemical reaction, producing toxic gas.
Snowy Hydro, owned by the federal government, has never disclosed this safety breach, even as it pumps out highly produced videos and press releases.
It was not meant to be this hard.
Its 15km journey below Kosciuszko National Park should be well underway by now, but it’s gone just 150m.
How did I come up with my figure of “over 40 years to complete”?
October – June = 5 months
5 months x 15km (15000m) / 150m of progress in 5 months = 500 months or 41 years
Lets not forget, this green energy project is the keystone of Australia’s Net Zero vision, it is supposed to make Australian renewable energy infrastructure affordable and reliable.