Australia’s mega renewable energy project temporarily halted after fatal truck crash(

Canberra, April 25 (IANS) Australia’s government-owned energy company Snowy Hydro has temporarily halted the work of its mega renewable energy project after a truck driver died in a single-vehicle crash.

“Snowy Hydro Limited (SHL) notified the government of the incident this afternoon, and has advised that the site has been shut down for the night and tomorrow (Tuesday),” Australian Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen and Minister for the Public Service Katy Gallagher said in a joint statement.

“The government expects the highest standards of safety at Snowy 2.0 and all worksites, and will engage closely with SHL and unions in the aftermath of this tragic incident,” they added.

According to police in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW), just after 1.10 p.m. on Monday, emergency services were called to the Snowy Mountains Highway in Snowy Monaro Region, following reports of a crash, reports Xinhua news agency.

A truck had crashed and rolled, trapping the driver who later died at the scene.

Extending condolences to the bereaved family, friends and workmates of the victim, Snowy Hydro confirmed that the vehicle involved is a Snowy 2.0 project truck.

“This is a tragic event and we are supporting our Snowy 2.0 Principal Contractor, Future Generation Joint Venture (FGJV), our teams and all those impacted in the community at this very sad and difficult time,” said Snowy Hydro CEO Dennis Barnes.

According to the company, Snowy 2.0 is a major pumped-hydro project in Australia, which will add 2,000 megawatts of dispatchable, on-demand generating capacity and approximately 350,000 megawatt hours of large-scale storage to the National Electricity Market.

The project involves linking two existing dams in NSW, Tantangara and Talbingo, through 27 km of tunnels and building a new underground power station.

Work on Snowy 2.0 has been underway since early 2019.