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Budget 2017: Turnbull's $5b Snowy Hydro plunge


Source: Financial Review

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull plunged deeper into the energy industry in the 2017-18 budget with an offer to buy the NSW and Victorian stakes in Snowy Hydro that could cost Canberra $5.25 billion on top of a planned $2 billion upgrade.

The move shows the government is deadly serious about expanding Snowy Hydro to help avert blackouts by providing expanded storage back-up for the increasing shares of wind and solar power set to come into the grid in the next decade, rather than any resistance to the expansion from NSW and Victoria, officials said.

Treasurer Scott Morrison said in his budget speech Canberra wants to buy the 87 per cent of the iconic Snowy Hydro scheme currently owned by NSW (58 per cent) and Victoria (29 per cent) as a prelude to a $2 billion, four-year upgrade that would add 2000 megawatts to the existing 4100 MW capacity.

NSW would receive about $3.5 billion from a sale of its 58 per cent stake based on a valuation of about $6 billion put on Snowy Hydro last year by energy experts, and Victoria $1.75 billion for its 29 per cent.

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