HydroVision International 2010: A Global Gathering

More than 2,500 people are expected to attend HydroVision International, as increasing demand for clean and reliable energy highlights the numerous benefits of hydropower.

Hydropower professionals from throughout the world meet in Charlotte, N.C., USA, the week of July 26 for HydroVision International 2010, the year’s largest gathering of hydropower professionals, where new business opportunities flourish and new ideas will be shared.

During the four-day event, the Charlotte Convention Center will feature a busy exhibition floor populated by the world’s biggest players in the hydropower industry and technical presentations and panel discussions by leading experts. More than 2,500 people are expected to attend HydroVision, which offers a wealth of networking opportunities with leading professionals and key decision makers.

A wide range of topics and issues, from project planning to innovations in pumped storage hydro, will be discussed by high-ranking regulators, major developers, and the biggest hydropower producers.

James E. Rogers, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Duke Energy, and Brad Carson, director of the National Energy Policy Institute, will deliver the featured keynote addresses during the opening plenary session Tuesday, July 27.

A diverse lineup of speakers and presentations

Altogether, the conference will feature more than 400 speakers in 70 sessions. This year’s Hydro Vision program features innovative approaches to new development, asset management, dam safety, fisheries management, operations and maintenance, and many other specialties.

Among the 400 speakers will be:

– Richard Taylor, executive director of the International Hydropower Association. Taylor will moderate a panel discussion on international policy issues affecting hydropower development.

– Dan Mahoney, director of Dam Safety and Inspections at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Mahoney will participate in a panel discussion about effective dam safety programs.

– Phil Meier, assistant vice president of Hydroelectric Development at American Municipal Power, which is building four new hydro projects. Meier will present a technical paper, “Powering the Ohio River,” during a session on project development.

– Benjamin Beste, P.E., mechanical engineer with Alaska Power & Telephone. Beste will join a discussion on opportunities to develop marine energy projects and will speak about the Yukon River Hydrokinetic Project.

– Jean Boulet, senior manager, Expertise and Development Department, Hydro Engineering Centre, Electricite de France. Boulet will be one of several experts discussing dam safety criteria and risk-based approaches to dam safety evaluation.

– Pravin Karki, senior energy specialist at The World Bank. Karki will participate in a panel discussion about sedimentation and its effect on available storage in reservoirs.

In addition, more than 250 companies and organizations will be showcasing their products and services on the exhibition floor. The exhibition opens with a Tuesday evening reception.

Many of the sessions at HydroVision will feature presentations on technical papers about a range of subjects, including climate change, dam design, water quality, risk management, turbine generators, project development, control systems, fish passage and other specialties. The technical papers will be published on a CD-Rom that will be distributed to conference delegates.

What’s more, HydroVision attendees registered as full conference delegates are eligible to receive 15 professional development hours. Instructions on how to obtain the certificate of completion will be emailed to conference delegates after the event.

A technical tour of Duke Energy’s Bridgewater plant, at the foot of Linville Dam on Lake James, is one of several pre-conference activities scheduled at HydroVision International 2010.

On Monday, July 26, a pre-conference technical tour of the 20-MW Bridgewater Hydroelectric project on the Catawba and Linville rivers will be offered by owner-operator Duke Energy.

Technical tour features historic Bridgewater project

A major rehabilitation and upgrade of the Bridgewater project, which began operating in 1919, is under way. The 20-MW powerhouse will be replaced by a new 31.5-MW powerhouse at the base of Linville Dam. The tour also includes a view of the recently completed Paddy Creek and Catawba Dam seismic remediation projects.

During efforts to relicense the Bridgewater project, owner Duke Energy determined that Linville Dam needed upgrading to meet federal guidelines for dam stability. Duke Energy hired HDR engineering Inc. of the Carolinas to conduct feasibility studies and determine various options that could meet seismic stability requirements.

HDR/DTA found that the most effective overall strategy was to remove the existing Bridgewater powerhouse and replace it with a new powerhouse downstream to make room for the addition of a large reinforcing earth berm to improve the stability of Linville Dam.

The Bridgewater upgrade represents a unique opportunity to design a powerhouse with the latest turbine technology. Voith Hydro is supplying the new turbines.

Workshops, seminars and other events will kick off in advance of the conference. The pre-conference activities include organizational meetings, technical workshops, and briefings on regulatory issues, research, and environmental concerns.

On Tuesday, July 27, more than 100 attendees participate in a golf tournament at the Birkdale Golf Course, designed by golf legend Arnold Palmer on 200 acres carved between tall pines and natural streams. When the course opened in 1987, it was voted The Best New Golf Course in North Carolina and named Charlotte’s Best Public Course in 1998.

A Harley-Davidson motorcycle will be given away in a drawing at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, July 29. Full conference delegates are eligible. Entering is easy. Just visit the participating sponsors on the HydroVision exhibit floor and get your entry card stamped. Entries must be submitted to PennWell booth No. 1011 by 3:15 p.m. Thursday to win.

In addition to networking with hundreds of hydropower professionals, conference delegates can pay a visit to the new NASCAR Hall of Fame, which opened in May. The 150,000-square-foot attraction was built next to the Charlotte Convention Center, where HydroVision is being held July 27-30.

The NASCAR attraction includes 40,000 square feet of interactive exhibits, artifacts, and retail space. It also features a 275-seat theater, a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant, a racing simulator, and a Hall of Honor for inductees.

Duke Energy, the host utility of HydroVision International 2010, is the owner-operator of the Cowans Ford Hydro Station, a 350-MW facility about 20 miles north of Charlotte, N.C., on Lake Norman.

The conference’s closing luncheon features Robert Raiford, commentator and essayist on “The Big Show,” broadcast on radio stations across the U.S. Raiford’s unique wit is sure to close the week on an uplifting note.



Russell Ray is associate editor of Hydro Review.

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