Avista Corp. elects Klein to board of directors

Rebecca Klein, JD, has been elected to the board of directors for Avista Corp. Her term expires in 2013.

Klein is a principal of Klein Energy LLC, a regulatory and government affairs consulting company. She also serves as Of Counsel to the law firm Tuggey Rosenthal Pauerstin Sandoloski & Agather LLP. Over the past 20 years, Klein has worked in energy, telecommunications, and national security in Texas and Washington, D.C.

Since January 2008, Klein has served as chair of the board of the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA), a public power utility that owns generation, transmission, and water services across central Texas.

In addition, four existing members of the 11-member board were re-elected in 2010.

Avista owns and operates several hydro projects in Idaho, Montana, and Washington, including the Clark Fork and Spokane River projects.

Abrams to direct FERC’s hydropower administration division

Edward Abrams has been named director of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Division of Hydropower Administration and Compliance (DHAC).

Abrams most recently served five years as deputy director of FERC’s Division of Hydropower Licensing. He was named by Director Jeff Wright of the Office of Energy Projects to succeed Joseph Morgan at DHAC.

 Edward Abrams

Acting Director Heather E. Campbell returns to her position as deputy director of DHAC.

Abrams, a civil engineer, joined FERC’s predecessor Federal Power Commission (FPC) in 1976 and held  numerous positions of increasing responsibility. Before joining FPC, he worked for the California Department of Water Resources designing parts of the California Aqueduct and then for the U.S. Forest Service designing forest facility water systems in the Angeles National Forest, California.

In his new position, Abrams is to manage 50 interdisciplinary staff in post-licensing tracking and in administering license requirements. DHAC inspects site conditions, investigates compliance issues, and assesses penalties. The division also is responsible for processing license amendment, transfer, and surrender applications.

Yearick named deputy director

 Vincent Yearick

Vincent Yearick, FERC’s branch chief for Hydro Licensing East-1, succeeds Abrams as deputy director of the Division of Hydropower Licensing (DHL).

Yearick, who reports to DHL Director Ann Miles, has worked in hydro licensing since he joined the FERC staff in 1990. Before being named branch chief in 2003, he served from 1990 as an environmental protection specialist and project coordinator on northeastern and western licensing cases. The Virginia resident’s background is in agricultural economics and recreation resource management.

In his new position, Yearick is to work with Miles and branch chiefs to ensure division responsibilities are carried out. DHL responsibilities include processing applications for preliminary permits, licenses, relicenses, and exemptions.

Bedard retires, Jacobson replaces him at EPRI

 Roger Bedard

Roger Bedard retired from his position as ocean energy leader in the EPRI Renewable Program in April 2010. Paul T. Jacobson, PhD, senior project manager at EPRI, replaces Bedard.

In his most recent position with EPRI, Bedard was responsible for developing and managing ocean energy projects. For example, from 2007 to 2008, he led a collaborative in-stream river energy conversion  technology feasibility status study in Alaska, Idaho, and California. In 2005 and 2006, Bedard led a collaborative in-stream tidal energy conversion technology feasibility study in the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and the U.S. states of Maine, Massachusetts, Alaska, Washington, and California.

Bedard joined EPRI in 1997 as business development manager and became ocean energy leader in 2004. Before that, Bedard was vice president of program management at GEC Alstom Schilling Robotic Systems from 1992 to 1996. He began his career in 1967 as a test engineer at the Naval Underwater Systems Center.

 Paul Jacobson

Bedard plans to continue his involvement in the hydroelectric industry during retirement as a consultant and educator. He has developed a three-credit ocean energy curriculum and is offering it to a number of universities.

Jacobson will expand EPRI’s activities in the area of environmental effects of ocean energy development, as well as work on research related to environmental effects of conventional hydro.

Jacobson joined EPRI in September 2009. Before that, he was founder and managing partner of Langhei Ecology LLC, where he provided consulting services to industry, government, and non-profits, focusing primarily on ecological assessment in aquatic ecosystems.

GEI Consultants adds six staff members in the Pacific region


GEI Consultants Inc. has hired six senior professionals in the Pacific region. These staff members are Timothy B. Anenson; Mark Freitas, P.E.; Joseph F. Long, P.E.; Ronald F. Muller, P.E.; Leonard J. Sansone, P.E.; and Jeffrey Twitchell, P.E.     

 Timothy Anenson  Mark Freitas
Anenson is vice president and regional manager at GEI’s Pacific Region headquarters in Sacramento, Calif. He is responsible for ensuring successful project outcomes and supporting the area’s six GEI facilities as well as other locations across the U.S. Anenson has more than 25 years of engineering and business experience.

Freitas is principal geotechnical engineer in the Oakland office. He has practiced geotechnical engineering for more than 28 years. His geotechnical engineering experience with levees and dams complements GEI’s water resource practice, the company says.

Joseph Long Ronald Muller
Long is senior consultant in the Glendale office and provides technical direction and project oversight for the development of public infrastructure, which includes flood-control and storage facilities. Long has more than 20 years of engineering experience, ranging from master planning and program management to final design and construction implementation.

Muller is senior consultant in the Sacramento office. Before joining GEI, Muller was chief of the Civil Works Integration Division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Before that, he was chief of the design branch for the Corps’ Sacramento District.

Sansone is principal geotechnical engineer in the Oakland office. Sansone has more than 17 years of experience in geotechnical engineering, including slope stability evaluations and foundation investigations. He has developed and managed sub-surface investigations, implemented laboratory testing programs, and directed geotechnical construction testing and observation programs.

Joseph Long Ronald Muller

Twitchell is senior consultant in the Sacramento office. He has more than 30 years of project engineering and management experience in flood control, environmental planning, permitting, and construction and maintenance of water supply and hydroelectric facilities.

GEI Consultants is a geotechnical, water resources, environmental, and ecological science and engineering firm.

Verville joins TRC Companies as senior environmental specialist

Sarah Verville is senior environmental specialist in the hydroelectric permitting practice of TRC Companies.

Before joining TRC, Verville practiced law at Pierce Atwood, representing hydro clients on matters related to fish passage, water quality certification, natural and cultural resources, regulatory compliance, and due diligence. Prior to that, Verville was senior consultant at Long View Associates, working on hydro projects in the southeast. She started her hydro career in 1986 as in-house counsel for Central Maine Power Company.

TRC is an integrated provider of diversified services to the environmental, energy, and infrastructure markets.

Weaver named manager at North American Green

Gabe Weaver, P.E., MBA, is manager of engineering and business development with North American Green.

Gabe Weaver

In this position, Weaver will be responsible for driving specification development for the company’s Vmax3 Composite Turf Reinforcement Mats, ShoreMax Soft Revetment Scout Protection Mats, and HydraMatriCx hydraulic erosion control product line. Weaver will continue to act as the technical liaison to industry organizations, such as the Erosion Control Technology Council and American Society for Testing Materials.

Previously, Weaver was manager of new products and technology development for North American Green. He has worked in the civil engineering industry for 11 years.

North American Green provides erosion solutions to hydro and other industries.

NAES Corporation appoints new president and CEO

John P. Brewster was named president and chief executive officer (CEO) of NAES Corporation, a broad-based provider of services to the power generation industry.

Prior to joining NAES, Brewster was chief commercial officer of Composite Technology Corporation and president of its power transmission subsidiary, CTC Cable Corporation.

Brewster has 32 years of experience in power plant operations, maintenance, and executive management.

NAES, headquartered in Issaquah, Washington, has offices in six U.S. states and several international locations.

Groobey joins office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Chris Groobey has become a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

His practice is focused on financing renewable energy and clean technology companies and their projects. Groobey’s renewable energy technology experience includes wave power, wind, solar, geothermal, and biogas projects. He has expertise in development, financing, sale, and acquisition of energy projects; syndicated loan and debt capital market transactions; and arranging capital for new and established energy companies.

Before joining this firm, Groobey was a partner at Baker & McKenzie in Chicago. Prior to that, he practiced at Chadbourne & Parke and Perkins Coie.

Adamson named vice president of Solar Energy Industries Association

Dan Adamson, JD, is vice president of government affairs with the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).

In this position, he leads and manages SEIA’s government affairs operation, including regulatory and legislative activities.

Previously, Adamson was a partner at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, where he represented clients on energy and environmental matters before Congress and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Prior to that, Adamson directed FERC’s Office of Energy Projects and was electricity policy advisor to the secretary and deputy assistant secretary in the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

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