Tech Briefs

USSD releases construction cost estimating guidelines

The U.S. Society on Dams announces availability of a white paper, Guidelines for Construction Cost Estimating for Dam Engineers and Owners.

This white paper, prepared by the USSD Committee on Construction and Rehabilitation, provides support for responsible cost estimating for new dams and rehabilitation projects. It was written for engineers and owners engaged in the planning, design and construction of dam-related engineering projects anticipated to cost up to $100 million.

Topics addressed include:

• Stages of project design and associated estimates;
• Development of a work breakdown structure;
• Direct and indirect project costs;
• Corporate overhead;
• Contingency;
• Profit; and
• Other owner costs.

The guidance is not intended to serve as a “how-to manual.” Rather, the information provided offers a structured reminder of the items that engineers, owners and cost estimating professionals must address when preparing an estimate of expected project costs, USSD says.

– The white paper can be accessed for free on the Internet at

Call for abstracts announced for HydroVision International 2013

PennWell Corporation, organizer of the HydroVision International conference and exhibition, is accepting abstracts for the Technical Papers track. The conference will be held July 23-26 in Denver.

Abstracts are requested on all topics of interest to technical professionals in the hydropower field. Preference will be given to abstracts that focus on innovative, practical and proven technologies and methods.

Abstracts that describe the focus and content of proposed papers (maximum of 400 words) are due October 19. Submit abstracts through the Internet at

All abstracts will be reviewed by the conference Technical Committee. If accepted, authors will be invited to submit a paper for inclusion in the official proceedings, which will be made available to conference delegates through an Internet link accessible with a password.

For more information, contact (1) 918-831-9736 or e-mail

AMP’s Gerken honored by American Public Power Association

Marc S. Gerken, president and chief executive officer of American Municipal Power in Ohio, has been awarded the Alex Radin Distinguished Service Award by the American Public Power Association.

APPA says the award is the highest honor granted by the organization and was given in recognition of Gerken’s “exceptional leadership and dedication to public power.”

Gerken was named CEO of what was then called American Municipal Power-Ohio in 2000, having served as the company’s vice president of business operations since joining the company in 1998. Since Gerken assumed the role of CEO, AMP-Ohio grew from a single-state agency to one with members in seven states, dropping “Ohio” from its name in 2009 to reflect a broader reach.

Gerken has also served on the APPA board of directors and was chairman in 2009-2010.

American Municipal Power is developing four hydro projects on the Ohio River that will eventually provide more than 300 MW of generating capacity: the 84-MW Cannelton, 72-MW Smithland, 35-MW Willow Island and 105-MW Captain Anthony Meldahl facilities.

AMP’s 42-MW Belleville plant has been online since April 1999.

Schweitzer honored for contributions to power systems

Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories Inc. founder and President Edmund O. Schweitzer III has been awarded the 2012 IEEE Medal in Power Engineering.

IEEE – the world’s largest technical professional association – recognized Schweitzer for his leadership in improving the performance of electrical power systems with computer-based protection and control equipment.

The IEEE medals, bestowed on behalf of its board of directors, are the highest honor the organization awards. The Medal in Power Engineering was establish in August 2008 and recognizes “outstanding contributions to technology associated with the generation, transmission, distribution, application and utilization of electric power for the betterment of society.” The mdel is sponsored by the IEEE Industry Applications, Industrial Electronics, Power Electronics, and Power & Energy Societies.

“I would like to thank IEEE for the recognition, and I’d also like to express my appreciation for all that IEEE does for the electric power industry,” Schweitzer says. “It’s a real privilege to be able to serve an industry that we all depend on every day, all the time.”

SEL designs, manufactures and supports products and services for protection, monitoring, control, automation and metering of electric power systems.

Flow Science announces deals with NYPA

Flow Science Inc. has been selected by the New York Power Authority to provide water flow simulation software for flows at various hydro plants in New York.

The Santa Fe, N.M.-based company says NYPA will use its software to “enhance its modeling capabilities for its 2,755-MW Niagara Power Project and, in due course, expand its use to its other projects and facilities.”

In 2006, NYPA completed a $300 million upgrade and modernization at the Niagara project’s Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant. And work began this year on a $460 million upgrade to the project’s 240-MW Lewiston Pump-Generating Plant.

Flow Science specializes in transient, free-surface computational fluid dynamics modeling software for industrial and scientific applications.

NYPA owns eight hydro plants and more than 4,300 MW of capacity.

Kingsbury Inc. recognized for economic contributions

Industrial manufacturer Kingsbury Inc. was recently recognized by U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson for its export growth.

The Philadelphia-based company, which designs and produces parts for hydroelectric application, was given the President’s “E” Star award. To qualify for the “E” Star award, companies must demonstrate export growth or support the export growth of others for four successive years. Applicants must show that their contributions are measurable, innovative, sustainable and broad in impact.

“It is companies like this that are helping to grow our economy and put more Americans back to work,” Bryson says.

In 1941, Kingsbury received an E-Award for its outstanding product quality in support of the war effort. Kingsbury received a second E-Award for quality after the war, as well as another in 2002 for export excellence. Kingsbury was one of only 10 companies given an E-Star award for export growth in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Kingsbury designs and manufactures fluid-film thrust and journal bearings for rotating equipment, including hydro.


  • Renewable Energy World's content team members help deliver the most comprehensive news coverage of the renewable energy industries. Based in the U.S., the UK, and South Africa, the team is comprised of editors from Clarion Energy's myriad of publications that cover the global energy industry.

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