FERC names Allerton deputy director of Division of Dam Safety & Inspections

Bill Allerton is the new deputy director of the Division of Dam Safety & Inspections in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) Office of Energy Projects.

Bill Allerton Click here to enlarge image

Allerton is responsible for assisting Director Dan Mahoney in establishing policies, procedures, and technical standards associated with FERC’s National Dam and Public Safety Program. He also provides supervision and program support for the division’s regional offices, in Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Portland, Ore., and San Francisco.

Allerton is a civil engineer with 30 years of experience in dam safety engineering. Prior to being appointed deputy director, he was supervisor of dam safety engineering in the commission’s headquarters office.

Allerton is an active member of the U.S. Society on Dams, where he is chair of the Committee on Materials for Embankment Dams. He also is a member of the Association of State Dam Safety Officials and the American Society of Civil Engineers. He is registered as a professional engineer in Virginia.

Reclamation appoints Zeiger technical services manager after Milano retirement

Jim Zeiger is the new manager for Hydropower Technical Services for the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation. He is responsible for overseeing operations, maintenance, and research for 58 hydro projects. Zeiger has been with Reclamation for ten years, and he most recently managed the Electrical Systems Group.

Jim Zeiger Click here to enlarge image

Zeiger assumes the duties of Bert Milano, who retired after more than 35 years. Milano most recently served as manager of Reclamation’s Hydroelectric Research and Technical Services Group, in Denver, Colo.

Bert Milano Click here to enlarge image

Milano was responsible for the development of the ramped direct-current test set, which is used by Reclamation and other utilities to assess the condition of generator winding insulation. During his career, he served as chairman of the Electric Power Research Institute’s Hydropower Research Business Unit and as a member of the Hydro Review editorial advisory board.

Avista names Morris new chairman, CEO

Avista Corp.’s board of directors elected Scott Morris as the company’s new chairman and chief executive officer (CEO).

Morris joined Avista in 1981. He served as general manager for Avista’s Oregon and California utility business from 1991 to 2000, when he was named president of Avista Utilities. Morris was named senior vice president of Avista Corp. in 2002, and was chosen president and chief operating officer in May 2006.

Morris succeeds former chairman and CEO Gary Ely, who retired at the end of 2007.

Ely joined Avista in 1967 in the Engineering Department. He worked in many areas of the company and managed construction and operation of hydroelectric, natural gas, thermal generation, and transmission. He also managed marketing, and state and federal regulatory relations. Ely was named executive vice president in 1999, and chairman of the board, president, and CEO in 2001.

Avista Corp. owns and operates a number of hydroelectric projects in Idaho, Montana, and Washington State, including the 735.7-MW Clark Fork and 135.91-MW Spokane River projects.

Sale leaves national laboratory, pursues various interests in retirement

Mike Sale, a contributor to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Hydropower Program for nearly 30 years, retired from his job at the government’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), where he was science and technology group leader.

Sale has contributed to DOE’s Hydropower Program since 1980 when he started work at ORNL. He also worked on numerous Federal Energy Regulatory Commission licensing documents and special projects.

Sale plans to work part-time for Sentech Inc., a small, clean energy business with offices in Oak Ridge, Tenn., and Bethedsa, Md. Through Sentech, Sale will provide technical support to DOE’s new Water Power Program, ORNL, and National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Four people will assume Sale’s job responsibilities at ORNL, including Brennan Smith, the laboratory’s Program Manager for Wind and Hydropower Technologies.

SMUD General Manager Schori announces retirement plans

Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) General Manager Jan Schori announced plans to retire after 14 years of running the publicly owned utility. Schori said she would stay on the job until a successor was named.

Jan Schori Click here to enlarge image

Schori’s tenture is the longest of any general manager in SMUD’s 61-year history. While Schori was general manager, SMUD filed for relicensing of the 637-MW Upper American River Project hydropower facilities and pursued plans for a new 400-MW pumped-storage project, Iowa Hill.

Schori served 15 years on the utility’s legal staff, including five as general counsel. She also served as chair of the boards of the American Public Power Association, Large Public Power Council, California Municipal Utilities Association, and National Business Council for Sustainable Energy.

Claussen remembered for advocacy of public power

Vera Claussen, a long-time commissioner of the Grant County Public Utility District (PUD) in Ephrata, Wash., died in January. She was 78.

Vera Claussen Click here to enlarge image

Claussen served six terms as Grant County PUD commissioner, from 1982 until her retirement in 2006. At the end of 2006, she had completed 47 years of service to the public power and hydropower industry.

At the time of her retirement, Claussen said one of the high points of her 24 years as a commissioner was the district’s work to apply for a new Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) operating license for the district’s 1,893-MW Priest Rapids hydroelectric project.

General Manager Tim Culbertson said in a statement following Claussen’s death, “She was a living legend and she will be truly missed by her friends at Grant PUD.”

Prior to being elected a Grant County PUD commissioner, Claussen worked for the Northwest Public Power Association and the Washington Public Utility District Association. She was active in the leadership of the American Public Power Association (APPA), serving on its board of directors and executive committee. Claussen was elected APPA president in 1996-1997, and was the first woman to hold that office.

APPA presented her with its highest award, the Alex Radin Distinguished Service Award, in 1999.

Former California water official Kennedy dies

David N. Kennedy, director of California’s Department of Water Resources (DWR) from 1983-1998, is dead at age 71.

Kennedy was the sixth of the department’s nine directors, serving in that post longer than any other.

DWR is responsible for operating and maintaining the State Water Project, the largest state-built and state-run water and power system in the U.S. Under Kennedy’s direction, DWR expanded the State Water Project’s Delta pumping capacity, enhanced environmental safeguards, and intensified Delta ecosystem and fish research.

“California has lost a great water leader and dedicated public servant,” DWR Director Lester Snow said of Kennedy, who died in December 2007. “Dave’s knowledge of California’s water issues was unparalleled and his commitment to efficient and reliable operation of the State Water Project tireless. His efforts have permanently improved water management for all Californians.”

Following Hurricane Katrina, Kennedy served on an independent, 13-member external panel to review work of government officials’ study of New Orleans’ levee failures.

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