Snowy 2.0 energy expansion project reaches major milestone

10 August 2020

Leading professional services company, GHD has achieved a major milestone drilling to a borehole depth of 2000 metres, as part of its geotechnical investigations on Snowy 2.0 – the largest renewable energy expansion project in Australia.

The GHD and Deepcore Drilling team drilled to a depth of 2000 metres to investigate ground conditions for Future Generation and Snowy Hydro Limited (SHL). Not only did this milestone exceed Deepcore's previous depth record by 650 metres, the borehole also had an extremely shallow angle starting at 32 degrees and finishing at 16 degrees.

The core was logged, sampled and tested for geotechnical and specific tunnelling parameters. The core sample results are a critical component of Snowy 2.0 and add to the information collected over the last two years of the project’s geological investigation program.

GHD is carrying out the geological testing for Future Generation, a joint venture created specifically to build Snowy 2.0 on behalf of SHL.

Located within Kosciuszko National Park in NSW, the Snowy 2.0 project is a pumped-hydro expansion of the Snowy Mountains Scheme, which will help meet future energy needs in an increasingly lower emissions economy. The expansion will significantly add to the Scheme's existing energy generation by approximately 50 per cent and its large-scale storage capabilities, securing system stability at times of peak demand.

GHD’s team has been working closely with Future Generation and Snowy Hydro throughout the project, providing geotechnical data to inform decisions on the placement and location of key structures.

Daniel Jones, GHD Project Manager said it is the deepest and most complex geotechnical borehole GHD has ever drilled in Australia.

"This drilling has taken 111 days of continuous 24 hour operations to complete and is a major achievement for the team and the project as a whole," says Daniel.

"Testament to the team's hard work and commitment to the project, drilling continued through highly variable weather conditions that come with a rugged mountainous terrain like Kosciuszko National Park. Not only are there various logistical constraints, but the team continued during heavy rain and snow. And achieved this while minimising impact on the environment,” says Daniel. 

The angle and depth of the hole were designed to align with the Inclined Pressure Shaft, a fundamental component for the project as the shaft is the main channel to supply water at extremely high pressure to the underground power generating turbines.

On the way down to target depth the team along with SCT Operations completed several overcore in-situ stress tests. This involved gluing a tool in a smaller diameter pilot hole and then coring over the top to understand the magnitude and direction of stresses in the ground.

The team has now completed acoustic televiewing to capture structural data in the ground, and Drill Stem Testing (DST) by Pro-Test for hydrogeological information.

Fabrizio Lazzarin, Future Generation, commended the team for the work done, “I would like to thank the team for the work done, which marks a very important achievement for the project. This deep inclined geotechnical investigation has been unique and challenging considering weather conditions and the tight schedule. Thank you again for the effort and the excellent result.” 




Source:  GHD -

Date of Original:  27 July 2020

Contact:  N/A

External Links: 

Deepcore Drilling, 

Future Generation,

Snowy Hydro Limited,


SCT Operation,


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