Diver dies while working at 10.5-MW Dahowa hydropower plant in New York State

A diver — identified at 25-year-old Steven F. Wingard — died June 21 while working at the 10.5-MW Dahowa small hydropower plant on the Batten Kill River in New York.

News agencies are reporting that Wingard was working for Commercial Diver Systems to clean an underwater drain valve when the accident occurred.

Wingard was the only diver in the water and was connected to a crew on the land, via an umbilical cord with an oxygen line, according to the Post Star.

As of Friday afternoon, State Police said there was no indication of foul play and exactly what occurred remained under investigation.

Media reports indicate the river was “running at nearly triple its median flow for June 21 as of Friday morning.”

The Dahowa plant is owned by Gravity Renewables., which assumed control in May 2019. Gravity Renewables is an owner, operator and developer of small hydroelectric power plants in the U.S., with more than 60 MW of hydroelectric projects operating and under development.

“Our thoughts are with Mr. Wingard’s family, friends and loved ones,” said Gravity Renewables spokesperson Julie Smith-Galvin in an email to the Post Star. “We appreciate the work of all those involved in responding to this morning’s emergency call. We are working closely and cooperatively with local authorities to investigate what caused today’s tragedy.”

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