NYPA names Tatham director for relicensing, implementation

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) named Thomas Tatham director of the authority’s relicensing and implementation division. He replaces Frederick Chase, who retired after 31 years at NYPA.

Thomas Tatham

Tatham has worked for NYPA as a licensing manager since 1986. His duties have included working to obtain licenses and implementing license terms, as well as negotiating settlement agreements with other parties involved in licensing processes. He was involved in the relicensing of the 912-MW St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Project, one of the first collaborative relicensing efforts, in 2003, and the relicensing of the 2,755-MW Niagara Power Project in 2007.

As director of the relicensing and implementation division, Tatham heads relicensing activities relating to NYPA’s hydro projects. The license for the authority’s 1,160-MW Blenheim-Gilboa pumped storage project expires in 2019, so planning is underway for relicensing efforts for the facility.

Mark Slade, who joined NYPA in 2008, takes on Tatham’s previous duties as licensing manager. Slade previously served as regulatory counsel for the New England Electric Systems Companies; in that role, he helped lead the relicensing of the 80-MW Deerfield River and the 320-MW Fifteen Mile Falls projects. Prior to that, he worked for Earth Tech and TRC, providing licensing and environmental consulting services.

NYPA trustees elect chairman, vice chairman

Michael J. Townsend is the newest chairman of NYPA. Townsend was elected chairman in February, following a stint as acting chairman of the New York State-owned public power utility.

Michael Townsend

Townsend was named NYPA acting chairman following the resignation of Frank McCullough Jr. Before becoming acting chairman, he served as the authority’s vice chairman. Townsend’s term as an authority trustee extends to May 2011. Townsend, an attorney, has served as a NYPA trustee since February 2004.

The chairman presides at meetings of NYPA trustees. On behalf of the seven-member board, the chairman oversees the authority’s chief executive officer in the management of the not-for-profit public benefit corporation.

Jonathan Foster

NYPA trustees elected Jonathan F. Foster, another board member, as the power authority’s vice chairman. Foster, a New York City resident, became a trustee in September 2008 and is serving a five-year term.

NYPA, the largest state-owned electric utility in the U.S., provides up to one-quarter of New York State’s electricity from its 18 generating facilities and purchases of economical power from other suppliers. Its two hydroelectric projects on the Niagara and St. Lawrence rivers provide low-cost electricity, supporting key manufacturing industries in western and northern New York.

NYPA said it plans to invest $1.3 billion over several years in support of the governor’s goal for the state to meet 45 percent of its electricity needs through improved energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy by 2015.

Arndt retires from University of Minnesota

Cavitation expert Roger Arndt, a professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Minnesota since 1977, retires at the end of May.

Roger Arndt

In retirement, Arndt plans to continue his research in cavitation, hydropower, and wind power as an emeritus professor at the university. He said he especially looks forward to continuing his hydropower research activities with colleagues in Norway.

Arndt’s research interests are in the area of fluid mechanics and include cavitation and alternate energy. He is the recipient of many honors and awards. In 2008 he was recognized at an International Association of Hydraulic Engineering and Research (IAHR) Symposium on Hydraulic Machinery and Systems for his nearly 50 years of contributions to the hydro machinery field.

At the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Arndt developed a broad program of hydropower development, including hydroturbine research, economic development, resource assessment, education, and construction of an independent turbine test facility. The program included hydraulic modeling of hydropower sites, index testing, and acceptance testing of a completed hydropower facility.

Arndt served as director of the university’s St. Anthony Falls Hydraulic Laboratory from 1977-1993. He was chairman of the Fluid Mechanics Program from 1981-1994. He is a former chairman of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ Hydropower Committee. Arndt also co-authored The Guide to Hydropower Mechanical Design.

Eagle Mountain CEO Lowe dies

Arthur Lowe, founder and chief executive officer of Eagle Crest Energy Co., developer of the 1,300-MW Eagle Mountain Pumped Storage hydro project, died Feb. 18. He was 72.

Lowe’s career included a stint as an investment banker in New York City, according to an obituary in the Honolulu Advertiser. Lowe was a resident of Palm Desert, Calif. His son Stephen is chief operating officer of Eagle Crest Energy, which said it plans to continue development of the project, in Riverside County, Calif., as a tribute.

Eagle Crest Energy holds a preliminary permit from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to study project feasibility. In addition, it gave notice to FERC in October 2008 of its intent to file an application for a license to construct and operate the project.

Ocean Power Technologies names Draper CEO

Ocean Power Technologies Inc. (OPT) has named Mark Robert Draper the company’s new chief executive officer (CEO).

Draper succeeds former CEO George Taylor, OPT’s founder. Taylor becomes executive chairman; his responsibilities include strategic direction of the company and marketing and business development.

OPT’s board of directors elected Draper to the new position, which became effective at the end of January. Draper previously served as chief operating officer. He also served as chief executive and director of OPT’s European subsidiary Ocean Power Technologies Ltd., based in Warwick, England.

Draper was involved in developing OPT’s PowerBuoy PB150 product, and in expanding operations in North America and Europe. Prior to joining OPT in 2004, Draper’s career encompassed a range of managerial and engineering roles at Powergen plc –- an energy business in the United Kingdom. As managing director of the Generation Business, his responsibilities included the technology division, and the company’s renewable energy business.

Draper holds a master’s degree in mechanical and electrical engineering from Cambridge University.

Hart tapped for newly created technology position

OPT appointed Phil Hart, PhD, to the newly created position of chief technology officer. Reporting to Draper, Hart is responsible for advanced technology development for OPT. This includes leading the development of the next generation of PowerBuoy systems and directing ongoing research programs.

Hart, an expert in marine technology, has developed and implemented technology, and led teams of marine engineers on a range of marine and subsea development engineering projects. Before joining OPT, Hart worked for Global Marine Systems, an international marine technology and engineering company.

Hart holds a doctorate degree and a master’s degree in marine technology from Cranfield University, and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Marine Technology from Plymouth University.

Preston named vice chairman

In another appointment, Seymour Preston III, previously chairman and non-executive director, was named vice chairman and lead independent director.

OPT is a wave-energy technology and project developer headquartered in Pennington, N.J. The company’s PowerBuoy system is based on modular, ocean-going buoys that capture and convert predictable wave energy into electricity.

Kleinfelder names Niesen water division manager

Kathleen Niesen manages Kleinfelder’s Water Division from the consulting firm’s San Diego, Calif., office.

In her new job, Niesen is responsible for building a global water resource management practice with a range of capabilities, including dams and hydropower.

Kathleen Niesen

Niesen possesses more than 30 years of executive-level management experience, including leadership positions at several engineering and consulting firms, such as Waste Management, CH2MHill, and ARCADIS. Most recently, she was director of operations for MWH Americas Inc.

Niesen is a registered professional engineer in Washington and Wisconsin. She is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and National Association of Professional Engineers. Niesen earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering from the University of Florida.

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