Can the restore of snapshots be automated so that the SQL files could be reattached every 15 minutes to replace SQL replication
I don't see why not. There are several examples in the forum of users doing something similar. Have a look at these, you should be able to modify them to adjust them to your needs and run them on a schedule.
Automatically Mount Most Recent Snapshot and Connect to Target
Using PowerShell to provision Nimble Zero Copy Clone to ESXi server
Retrieving data ...