Perspectives: 100 Years and Beyond

Depending on your perspective, the idea of something or someone being “in place” for 100 years can seem an unbelievably long time or it can flash by like a falling star in the sky. What’s undeniable is the progress our society has seen in the past 100 years. For example, think about the way we communicate. A hundred years ago, a telegram was the best way to get a message to someone fast; today, we text or tweet. Or, how about hydro plant construction? In the early 1900s, much of the work was done by human and animal labor; today, we have the benefit of motorized machines, some completely automated — not to mention computerized design and engineering tools.

In 2010, the publisher of Hydro Review, Penn- Well Corporation, is celebrating its 100th anniversary. PennWell is one of the oldest and largest family-owned publishing companies in the world. The past 100 years has brought great change to the company, formally called Petroleum Publishing Company. Beginning from small-town roots as publisher of a single journal, the Oil and Gas Journal, PennWell has evolved into a worldwide media company reaching more than 1.5 million professionals with 75 print and online magazines and newsletters, 60 global conferences and exhibitions, and an unrivaled line of books, maps, websites, and research and database services.

As PennWell commemorates its centennial, the company is taking time to look back … to review — and to celebrate — its beginnings, its history, and the past 100 years.

For hydro, we are doing the same thing.

We have identified five hydro plants (among many) that are turning 100 years old this year.* These plants have been providing clean, renewable, locally produced electricity for 100 years. We are inducting each of these plants into the Hydro Hall of Fame. This issue unveils the 108-MW Holtwood project in Pennsylvania, owned by PPL Corp., as one of the inductees (see cover story). Check out upcoming issues this year as we unveil more inductees.

The Hydro Hall of Fame, established in 1995, recognizes hydro achievement throughout North America, with a special emphasis on long-lasting hydro facilities. To date, 22 plants have been inducted into the hall. Member projects are located throughout the U.S. and Canada. Together, this prestigious group demonstrates the long-lasting and significant contributions of hydroelectric plants.

And, similar to PennWell, these projects are not resting on their laurels just because they’ve turned 100. As PennWell looks to the future, the company is committed to find new, useful, and effective ways to bring markets together in print, online, and in person with strategic and practical business intelligence.

For hydropower, these centennial projects continue to produce electricity, many of them undergoing rehabilitation, modernization, or expansion. For example, a just-commenced expansion of the Holtwood plant will more than double the capacity at the site.

Hydropower can be proud of its long history of accomplishments, and can be excited about the prospects of progress and growth that the future holds.

Marla J. Barnes, Publisher and Chief Editor

* Hydro plants have been operating longer than 100 years. The first known hydro plant in the world began generating electricity in July 1880.

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