Tech Briefs

DOE report explores relationship between water, power generation

A new U.S. Department of Energy report focuses on the connections between water and its role in energy production and generation, including hydroelectric power. The report, titled The Water-Energy Nexus: Challenge and Opportunities, “lays out an array of technical and operational challenges across the water-energy nexus at local, regional and national scales.”

The report notes that threats like water scarcity — such as the severe drought that impacted the U.S. in 2012 — and variability are potentially leading to threats to the country’s energy system.

“The interdependencies between our water and energy systems are clear, and becoming more prominent,” DOE said in a release. “Water is used in all phases of energy production and electricity generation, and energy is required to extract, convey and deliver water and to treat wastewaters prior to their return to the environment.” DOE said it plans to work with other federal agencies; state, local and foreign governments; private industry; academic institutions; non-governmental organizations and others in further addressing issues raised by the report.

The department said it intends to guide continuing research and development efforts in addressing six “strategic pillars,” including:

— Optimizing the freshwater efficiency of energy production, electricity generation and end use systems;
— Optimizing the energy efficiency of water management, treatment, distribution and end use systems;
— Enhancing the reliability and resilience of energy and water systems;
— Increasing the safe and productive use of non-traditional water sources;
— Promoting responsible energy operations with respect to water quality, ecosystem and seismic impacts; and
— Exploiting productive synergies between water and energy systems.

Navigant Consulting earns industry honors

Chicago-based Navigant Consulting has earned a number of honors in the Corporate INTL Awards. The company — which provides technical expertise in disputes and investigations, as well as economic, financial advisory and management consulting — was awarded in the following categories:

— Energy Sector Consulting Firm of the Year in California, Colorado, Canada and England; and
— Energy Economic Consulting Firm of the Year in Washington, D.C.

Corporate INTL provides a variety of business publications. The company, based in the United Kingdom, has awarded its annual honors since 2008.

NYPA engineer honored by New York engineers society

Joe Kessler, senior vice president of power generation with the New York Power Authority, has been awarded the 2014 Professional Engineer in Government Award from the New York State Society of Professional Engineers (NYSSPE).

This annual award recognizes a professional engineer in government who, during a career in public service, has made an outstanding contribution to public health, safety and/or welfare, the engineering profession and the goals of the SPE through managerial ability and professional engineering achievement.

Kessler is responsible for oversight of the operation of NYPA’s 16 electric power generating facilities, including the Niagara Power Project and St. Lawrence Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Project.

Hard numbers on hydropower in Oregon

How much of the electricity generated in Oregon comes from hydroelectric facilities? PennWell’s GenerationHub Power Plant Database can answer this question, and much more. According to the database, Oregon has total generating capacity of 16,036 MW, with more than half of that (8,239 MW) coming from hydro. The pie chart below shows the breakdown. (Note, there are no nuclear or oil-powered facilities in Oregon.) For more on GenerationHub, visit

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