Winter is almost upon us and that means the Snowy Mountains region is gearing up for the peak tourism season where tens of thousands of visitors come to the region to enjoy the snow, as well as the hospitality and scenery that locals get to enjoy all year round.
Snowy Hydro, through our retail energy company Red Energy, will once again sponsor the ski fields this year so keep your eyes and ears out for our Red Energy signs and sounds on local radio stations at Thredbo, Perisher and Charlottes Pass. As a local company employing hundreds of people in the region, we’re proud to back the Snowy Mountains and get the message out about our 100 per cent Australian owned and operated energy brand – Red Energy – which is backed by the mighty Snowy Hydro.
Red Energy has been a major sponsor of festivals and events across the region throughout the year, including the very successful Back to Cooma Festival over the Easter long weekend and the more recent Festival of the Falling Leaf in Tumut. Our enthusiastic staff are always happy to chat to potential customers about the benefits of switching to Red Energy and we have been working with businesses across the region in the past few months, spruiking the benefits of Red Energy which is an industry leader in customer service.
With the arrival of winter, locals and visitors alike are keen to know all about the predictions for snowfall. Accurately predicting the weather is a tough business. Snowy Hydro is incredibly lucky to have a talented team of climate scientists who work with us to read and interpret climate indicators to give us as in-depth a view as possible about predicted rainfall, snowpack and inflows to the Snowy Mountains Scheme.
But broadly, we are looking to move out of El Niño with a high chance of La Niña meaning the next few months are looking to be wetter than average, but also warmer. This is good news for predicted inflows into the Snowy Scheme and means we will have healthy water levels to sustain higher levels of generation across the Scheme this year and to deliver downstream to town water supplies, the environment and irrigators.
On the generation front, we have just completed major upgrade works at our Tumut 1 Power Station at Cabramurra and will be moving our major works team to Khancoban to start major works on our Murray 1 Power Station. This is good news for the Khancoban community as, at its peak, we can expect around 80 additional staff working in the region with around 40 staff there permanently for the predicted works over at least a six month period. We understand how important it is to invest in and support our local communities to ensure they remain healthy and vibrant for our workforce and their families.
Lastly, an important reminder about safety. At Snowy Hydro, the safety of our employees and the people that live around and interact with the Snowy Scheme, is our highest priority.
We have noticed in recent times an alarming increase in the number of near misses on the roads around the Snowy Mountains. We drill into our staff the importance of safe driving and the majority of our Snowy Hydro car fleet has speed monitors installed which alert us when drivers are driving over the speed limit. Country roads have their own challenges – wildlife including kangaroos and brumbies, snow, rain and visibility challenges, as well as large trucks and caravans.
Please take care on the roads in and around the regions. Adjust your speed to suit the conditions and keep a watch for other drivers who may be doing the wrong thing. Thankfully, none of our near misses has resulted in serious injury to our staff. But you can never be too careful with your life. It’s critically important that everyone goes home in the same shape, or better, each and every day. Take care when you’re out there.