The proposed expansion will help to increase the capacity of the scheme in order to address power shortages and stabilise electricity supply in the future.
The study will first review existing proposals to expand pumped hydro storage on the scheme, many of which have existed since the 1960s. Up to 2,000 MW of hydroelectric energy could be added to the grid to act as rapid response back-up during periods of high demand and fill the gaps in energy supply. The pumped hydro capability means the water utilised for electricity generation can be recycled to provide supply when it is needed most.
By increasing the output by approximately 50%, the scheme will generate enough renewable energy to provide power to more than half a million homes.
SMEC's appointment will also deliver significant benefits to the local Snowy Mountains community. They will reopen offices in Cooma, which will see more than 30 people based permanently in the town.