R&D Forum

NPCC recommends 100 research projects

The Northwest Power and Conservation Council has recommended 100 projects designed to improve scientific knowledge about fish and wildlife throughout the Columbia River Basin. The council’s Independent Scientific Review Panel reviewed the projects to ensure they are based on sound science and are consistent with the goals and objectives of its fish and wildlife program.

These projects, both new and ongoing, are part of NPCC’s Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program and would be funded by the Bonneville Power Administration as part of its responsibility to protect and enhance fish and wildlife affected by hydropower dams in the basin.

BPA must negotiate budgets for each project with its sponsors, who include fish and wildlife agencies, Indian tribes and university-affiliated researchers. BPA has earmarked as much as $81.2 million for this group of research, monitoring and evaluation projects in its fish and wildlife budget for Fiscal Year 2012, which begins October 1.

The duration of the projects varies from one to five years.

Nearly half of the projects (48) address planning, development, operation and maintenance of fish hatcheries funded through the council’s program. These include projects to investigate the effectiveness of hatcheries and the effects of hatchery fish on those that spawn naturally, says John Harrison, information officer with NPCC.

The council is a compact of the states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington and is directed by the Northwest Power Act of 1980 to prepare a program to protect, mitigate and enhance fish and wildlife of the Columbia River Basin affected by dams that impound water for hydroelectric projects.

CEATI releases report on using hydro to integrate wind

CEATI International Inc. offers The Hydroelectric Industry’s Role in Integrating Wind Energy.

Over the past decade, the global installed capacity of wind power has increased to more than 145,000 MW, according to the report. By contrast, hydro capacity worldwide is more than 775,000 MW, the report says. Wind power is naturally variable, meaning balancing of the transmission system is needed to integrate this energy source. The report is intended to determine how hydropower fits into the needs for integrating wind and enhancing availability of ancillary services.

This report was prepared by CEATI’s Hydraulic Plant Life Interest Group. This group is comprised of more than 40 utilities joined together through CEATI to share their experiences and to address issues pertinent to their day-to-day operations.

For more details on this report, see the article on page 68.

— An executive summary of the report is available for free on the Internet at www.ceati.com/freepublications/0371_ Summary_Report.pdf.

EPRI, DOE hold conference on advanced turbine technology

The Electric Power Research Institute and U.S. Department of Energy held a conference on environmentally-advanced hydro turbines in Washington, D.C.

Significant progress has been made in recent years in the development of environmentally-enhanced conventional hydro turbines, EPRI says.

Sessions covered progress in developing new turbine technologies, approaches to addressing turbine fish passage issues, new turbines for downstream fish passage, new turbines to improve water quality, tools for verifying turbine performance and next steps in deploying and demonstrating enhanced turbines.

Among the technologies discussed at this conference was the Alden Turbine, which was developed by Alden Research Laboratories and refined and model-tested at Voith Hydro’s facility in York, Pa. It was designed to allow safe fish passage directly through the turbine. The Alden turbine is a three-blade Francis type turbine that rotates slower than conventional Francis turbines.

The May conference was organized in cooperation with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation and the National Hydropower Association.


The website for North American PTFE Bearing LLC is www.ptfehydro.com, not www.aehydro.com as was reported in “Applying the Latest Technologies” in the June issue. We apologize for the error.

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