Industry News

Hydro Research Foundation announces fellowship winners

The Hydro Research Foundation announced the 2011 class joining the Hydro Fellowship Program.

Each fellowship is worth about $94,000 over the two-year period of study. The fellowships are made possible by a $3 million, four-year grant from the Wind and Waterpower Technologies Program of the Department of Energy.

The 2011 class represents eleven universities from ten states.

These 14 students were handpicked by a selection committee of individuals from various areas of industry, research and utilities. Each student was picked for his or her leadership, innovative research topic and institutional support.

The program now funds 23 students at 15 universities.

All 23 fellowship winners will be attending HydroVision International in Sacramento, Calif. On July 19, the students will present their research topics and progress reports as well as two final research presentations at the conference. To register for this event, visit

FERC relicenses North Carolina’s East Fork and West Fork projects

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission relicensed two North Carolina hydroelectric projects of five developments totaling 50.775 MW that are part of a settlement that included breaching of the 225-kW Dillsboro hydroelectric project in 2010.

FERC issued relicenses May 4 to Duke Energy Carolinas LLC for the 26.175-MW East Fork project and the 24.6-MW West Fork project on the Tuckasegee River in Jackson County, N.C. Duke surrendered its license to operate the 225-kW Dillsboro project in 2007, as agreed in 2004 settlements for relicensing nine hydroelectric developments in southwestern North Carolina.

The East Fork project features three powerhouses, 10.8-MW Tennessee Creek, 9-MW Bear Creek and 6.375-MW Cedar Cliff, while West Fork has two powerhouses, 21.6-MW Glenville and 3-MW Tuckasegee.

In its relicense proposals, Duke sought no new capacity for East Fork and West Fork.

AMEC to acquire MACTEC

AMEC, the international engineering and project management company, agreed to buy MACTEC, a leading engineering and environmental services company, for US$280 million.

The merger will create a combined Earth & Environmental business to be headquartered in Alpharetta, Ga.

Alpharetta-based MACTEC has some 2,600 employees and 70 offices, the majority of which are in the eastern U.S. It provides a similar wide range of services to AMEC’s existing E&E business, including environmental planning, assessment and remediation, infrastructure engineering, water resources and construction support services.

MACTEC has a high quality, long term, public and private sector client base and provides a broad range of environment and infrastructure services to the energy, commercial/industrial, transportation/infrastructure and federal sectors.

FERC draft EA recommends licensing 9-MW Enloe

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff has issued a draft environmental assessment recommending licensing the 9-MW Enloe hydroelectric project at the existing Enloe Dam on the Similkameen River in eastern Washington.

Enloe Dam originally generated electricity from 1923 to 1958, when it was decommissioned because a transmission line brought less expensive hydropower to Okanogan County. Okanogan Public Utility District obtained a hydropower license for the project in 1983 that was rescinded at the PUD’s request in 1986 due to concerns about project costs and disagreements about upstream fish passage.

The draft EA recommends licensing the project as proposed by Okanogan PUD with some additional recommendations of FERC staff. It noted if FERC declines to license the project, the Bureau of Land Management has said it would require Okanogan PUD to remove the dam under a current BLM right-of-way permit for the dam, which sits on BLM land.

Corps sees July bidding for McNary fish bypass relocation

The Army Corps of Engineers’ Walla Walla District plans to take bids to relocate a juvenile fish bypass outfall pipe at McNary. Bids are due around July 20, the agency said.

The Corps sought information in December from firms capable of performing the work.

The district plans to seek bids to relocate the juvenile fish bypass outfall at McNary from its current location about 250 feet downstream from the dam in front of the powerhouse to a new location about 1,100 feet downstream from the dam and 1,200 feet away from the bank out into the river.

The work is valued at between $10 million and $25 million.

FERC issues license, ups capacity at two exemptions in March

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s monthly update shows the commission issued one small project license and amended two project exemptions to increase their installed capacities in March.

The Energy Infrastructure Update for March 2011, compiled by FERC’s Office of Energy Projects, said FERC issued one license to Mahoning Creek Hydroelectric Co. LLC for the 6-MW Mahoning Creek project, to be built at the Army Corps of Engineers’ Mahoning Dam on Mahoning Creek in Armstrong County, Pa.

FERC issued amendments in March to conduit exemptions: increasing authorized capacity of the 70-kW Maxwell project to 94.1-kW; and increasing authorized capacity of the 750-kW Sunshine project to 800 kW. The report said it issued one conduit exemption of 150 kW.

The commission also received two applications for 5-MW (maximum) exemptions from: Crane & Co. for the 250-kW Byron Weston project at an existing dam on the East Branch of the Housatonic River in Berkshire County, Mass.; and the city of Watervliet, N.Y., for the 5-MW Delta project at an existing New York State Canal Corp. dam on the East Branch of the Mohawk River in Oneida County, N.Y.

Reclamation awards contract for turbine overhaul

The Bureau of Reclamation awarded a $25 million contract to Andritz Hydro Corp. to overhaul all four hydropower turbines at Palisades Dam on the Snake River, about 70 miles east of Idaho Falls.

The five-year project will rehabilitate all four of the dam’s 54-year-old turbines with a new stainless steel runner and other components designed to increase efficiency and power production.

The four-unit power plant has a generating capacity of 176.5 MW.

The contractor will have to build a model of the runner for Reclamation engineers to test prior to installation, Reclamation said.

Reclamation expects to see a 30-percent increase in the efficiency during the winter season and about a 3.8-percent increase in efficiency in summer.

Once the project is completed, Reclamation will only need to run one generator instead of two to produce power during the winter season.

The overhaul is expected to be completed by May 1, 2016.

U.S. awards contract to Hydro Power Services

The Army Corps of Engineers awarded a contract for repair of cracks in runner blades of two turbines at the 575-MW Carters Dam hydropower project in Georgia.

Carters Dam was built in 1977 on the Coosawattee River for flood control and hydropower. Two of its units, Nos. 3 and 4, are reversible pump-turbines.

The Corps awarded Tennessee-based Hydro Power Services LLC a $217,113 contract to repair cracks in blades of Units 1 and 2. The Francis turbines were manufactured by Newport News Ship Building and Dry Dock Co., operating at 163.6 rpm with an original output of 125 MW, at a rated head of 345 feet. Carters’ generators were rewound to 143.75 MW in the early 1990s.

Draft EIS: Relicense 1,003-MW Boundary, surrender Sullivan

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission staff has issued a draft environmental impact statement that recommends relicensing the 1,003-MW Boundary hydroelectric project and accepting surrender of the license of the nearby Sullivan Creek water storage project in the Pend Oreille River Basin of Washington.

The draft EIS, issued April 8, recommends that FERC approve the relicense proposal of licensee Seattle City Light for Boundary plus certain staff modifications. It also endorses licensee Pend Oreille County Public Utility District’s application to surrender the license of Sullivan Creek, with Seattle to remove that project’s Mill Pond Dam and perform other work to improve aquatic habitat in Sullivan Creek and Sullivan Lake.

Corps awards contract for gate stem repairs

The Army Corps of Engineers awarded Minnesota-based Alltech Engineering Corp. a $1.59 million contract to repair gate stems at Jennings Randolph Dam on the North Branch Potomac River in Maryland and West Virginia.

Jennings Randolph Dam was built in 1981 to create an emergency reservoir for the Washington metropolitan area.

The Corps’ Baltimore District seeks to replace four large cladded hydraulic slide gate stems with solid stainless steel stems. All water gland seals and all hydraulic gland seals are to be replaced.

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