Sacramento Municipal Utility District names Flake to manage power generation

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) named Scott Flake manager of power generation for the utility. Flake oversees the operation of SMUD’s hydroelectric, co-generation, wind, and solar power plants.

Scott Flake

Flake first joined SMUD as a contractor and was hired in 2001 as the utility’s superintendent of engineering project development.

Flake was instrumental in SMUD’s negotiations for Federal Energy Regulatory Commission relicensing of the 647.726-MW Upper American River hydro project, the utility said in announcing the appointment.

Flake is a registered professional engineer in California. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and a master’s in business administration from Santa Clara University.

Gass retires from Hetch Hetchy, expands consulting work

Matthew Gass retired from Hetch Hetchy Water and Power, where for nearly 20 years he was engineering manager of the utility for the city and county of San Francisco, Calif.

Gass joined Hetch Hetchy Water and Power in 1987 as a mechanical engineer. Gass served as engineering manager for the utility from 1989 until his retirement in 2007.

Gass managed a $20 million annual infrastructure repair and replacement program for the Hetch Hetchy Water and Power system, which features four hydroelectric powerhouses with a combined peak capacity of 408 MW.

In addition to his role at Hetch Hetchy Water and Power, Gass has worked in the hydro industry as an independent consultant for the past ten years.

Gass recently served as lead technical adviser on a project to assess the statewide potential for small hydropower in man-made conduits for the California Energy Commission’s Public Interest Energy Research Division. He also has advised BC Hydro, ALCAN, Northern California Power Agency, Placer County Water Agency, PPL, and other utilities on options for improving the efficiency and operation of their hydroelectric facilities.

Gass said he plans to take new assignments as a consulting engineer, specializing in the mechanical side of the hydroelectric industry.

Anderson retires from Chelan County PUD

Ken Anderson retired from Chelan County Public Utility District (PUD) No. 1 in Wenatchee, Wash., where he served as mechanical and civil plant engineer for the 623.2-MW Rock Island hydroelectric project on the Columbia River.

Ken Anderson

Anderson previously worked for Puget Power, where for many years he was director of power production.

Anderson was a member of the Edison Electric Institute’s Hydraulic Power Committee from 1981 to 1994, and was chairman of that group from 1988 to 1990. He also was a member of the EPRI Hydro Research Committee.

Anderson retired from Chelan County PUD in October 2007. He said future plans included relocating to Kent, Wash., and perhaps a more limited involvement in hydro and equipment maintenance. Anderson also plans to spend more time with his family, boating, and traveling.

Niemela retires from Minnesota Power, opens consultancy

John Niemela, senior engineer with Minnesota Power, retired from the utility where he worked for 32 years, relocated to the Black Hills of South Dakota, and opened a consultancy.

John Niemela

At Minnesota Power, Niemela was responsible for preparing relicense applications for seven projects, settlement negotiations, compliance, dam safety, and hydro engineering and operation technical support. He retired from the utility at the end of July 2007.

Niemela was active in the Edison Electric Institute and National Hydropower Association. He served as the operations and maintenance chairman of the Hydraulic Power Committee from 2002-2007. He also served on the Midwest Hydro Users Group board from 1995-2007, and was the group’s vice president from 2006-2007.

Niemela said he plans to continue to work in the hydro field through his consultancy Horse Creek Consulting LLC, in Rapid City, S.D. His specialities are licensing, compliance, emergency action planning, and dam safety.

Minnesota Power named David Aspie to take over dam safety and hydro engineering support for the utility.

Bureau of Reclamation announces new team to manage Upper Colorado Region

The new management team for the Upper Colorado Region in the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation includes Dave Sabo, now deputy director, and assistant directors Ann Gold and Brent Rhees.

Sabo, who has more than 25 years of experience in water resources and power, was assistant director for the region. He joined the Upper Colorado Region in April 2006. Before that assignment, Sabo was area manager for the Klamath Basin Area Office in Klamath Falls, Ore. He also managed the Colorado River Storage Project Management Center for the Western Area Power Administration.

Gold previously served as special assistant to the deputy commissioner for policy, administration, and budget. She possesses 30 years of federal service, including stints with the Soil Conservation Service (now the Natural Resource Conservation Service), U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, and Bureau of Land Management.

Rhees previously served as deputy area manager for the region’s Provo, Utah, Area Office. Rhees has 27 years of federal service, all with Reclamation.

Regional Director Larry Walkoviak announced the appointments.

The regional office is in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Devine Tarbell & Associates announces regional promotions

Devine Tarbell & Associates Inc. (DTA) announced it is making several new appointments at the regional level.

Mike Murphy

Mike Murphy assumes the role of vice president of the Northeast Region, based in the firm’s Portland, Maine, office. Murphy possesses 25 years of consulting and corporate environmental experience. In addition to his work as a senior project manager, he directed DTA’s expertise in wave and tidal hydropower technologies. He will continue to lead those efforts.

DTA promoted Jim Gibson to regional manager of the newly created New York Region. Gibson previously served as manager of DTA’s Syracuse, N.Y., office. Gibson is a senior regulatory specialist with 14 years of experience with licensing, permitting, and regulatory compliance issues.

Ron Grady

Ron Grady assumes the role of vice president of the Southeast Region, based in DTA’s Charlotte, N.C., office. He previously served as manager of the Southeast Region. Grady has 23 years of experience in the hydropower industry, including responsibility for project management, engineering, and business development.

Alex Grenoble

Alex Grenoble succeeds Grady as Southeast Region manager. Previously the geotechnical engineering manager, Grenoble most recently served as project director for an evaluation and remediation of the seismic stability of six earthfill dams in North Carolina. He brings 20 years of civil and geotechnical engineering experience to his new role.

Ken Fonnesbeck

Ken Fonnesbeck expands his role as Northwest engineering manager to become Northwest Region manager, leading both the Seattle and Bellingham, Wash., offices. Fonnesbeck has more than 25 years experience in aspects of energy project development, design, construction and operations.

DTA is an employee-owned consulting firm with eight offices and a staff of more than 200 employees. It is headquartered in Portland, Maine.

HTI names Ehrenberg president

HTI, Hydroacoustic Technology Inc., named John Ehrenberg president. He succeeds Bruce Ransom, who will continue to work for the fisheries company as vice president.

John Ehrenberg

Ehrenberg brings to the job experience in engineering, development, manufacturing, and organizational management. His past contributions to the science of fisheries hydroacoustics include development of hydroacoustic split-beam and acoustic tag signal processing and tracking technologies.

As president, Ehrenberg is responsible for leading development, manufacturing, and application of acoustical systems for fisheries research.

L&S Electric names Volk senior engineer

L&S Electric Inc. appointed James Volk senior controls engineer for the company’s Engineering Division.

James Volk

Volk joins L&S Electric with nearly 13 years of turbine control experience in hydroelectric, steam, gas, and compressor surge control applications. He previously held positions at Woodward Governor and GE Global Controls.

Volk’s position is a new one at L&S Electric, which is headquartered in Schofield, Wis. Volk is based in Denver, Colo. He is responsible for defining project requirements, developing standard control system solutions, and mentoring less experienced engineers on hydro control systems.

L&S Electric is a supplier of integrated systems for the power generating industry. It provides digital governors, automation systems, excitation systems, and digital relay protection systems.

Stevens Water Monitoring Systems names Spansel sales, applications engineer

Stevens Water Monitoring Systems Inc. named Greg Spansel a technical sales and applications engineer.

Spansel previously served as Northeast Regional Sales Manager for Sutron Inc.

He is experienced in electronics and computer hardware, including hydrological and meteorological monitoring systems.

Stevens Water designs and manufactures equipment and systems used for monitoring, collecting, and analyzing water conditions at hydroelectric projects.

We want to hear from you!

Hydro Review always welcomes your suggestions for articles and departments you believe would be helpful to colleagues.

Please send your ideas to the Editor, Hydro Review, 410 Archibald Street, Kansas City, MO 64111-3046; (1) 816-931-1311, extension 106; E-mail:

Previous articleFrom the Editor
Next articleSolar Energy ‘Revolution’ Brings Green Power Closer
Renewable Energy World's content team members help deliver the most comprehensive news coverage of the renewable energy industries. Based in the U.S., the UK, and South Africa, the team is comprised of editors from Clarion Energy's myriad of publications that cover the global energy industry.

No posts to display