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Reynolds P.,IWP and DC
International Water Power and Dam Construction | Year: 2011

The US Government has a range of support initiatives in place to help conventional and new types of hydro development to help boost renewables. In April, DoE and DoI announced $26.6M in R&D funding for advanced conventional hydropower and pumped storage projects. Letters of intent were sought by May ahead of full applications to be submitted early this month. A year after the MoU was signed, the DoI released a report on the hydropower potential at 70 of USBR's facilities that said an extra 1008 GWh of electricity could be generated annually. While, in terms of scale, the total contribution from the likes of new or extra capacity at existing USBR sites will not tip the balance, projects at such sites would be part of a wider strategic undertaking. A year after the MoU was signed, the DoI released a report that said an extra 1008 GWh of electricity could be generated annually.


Pritchard S.,IWP and DC
International Water Power and Dam Construction | Year: 2011

Suzanne Pritchard reports reports how a recent drowning at a US dam has highlighted why both dam owners and the general public must put safety at the forefront of their minds. Experts agree that low head dams can lull river users into a false sense of security. They do not appear to be dangerous due to their smaller size, which is particularly true if viewed from a boat or canoe upstream. Creating greater awareness of the potential danger at low head dams seems to be the key to avoiding tragedy. A similar experience has occurred at Bow River Weir in Alberta, Canada. After completion in 1975 eight people drowned over the next seven years. Dam managers took a number of steps which included installing a multi-layered warning system using different kinds of graphic signs. The primary objects of the project are to enable river passage for non-motorized boats and enhance fish passage while maintaining water supply functions.


Sticht N.J.,IWP and DC
International Water Power and Dam Construction | Year: 2011

The US Army Corps of Engineers is undertaking dam safety training in a virtual university environment to allow retiring engineers pass on their expertise to younger colleagues in this unique program. After earning both his bachelor's and master's degrees in civil engineering at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, Sanchez joined the USACE New Orleans District in 2008, where he worked on the Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System. The Dam Safety University is one of the ways in which USACE is implementing succession planning, since many of its dam safety engineers are nearing or have reached retirement age. Assignments in the Dam Safety University program are filled internally and competitively, and interest is growing. Through this unique program, team members gain valuable professional development and the Corps gains sustainability for its dam safety program.


Reynolds P.,IWP and DC
International Water Power and Dam Construction | Year: 2011

The hydro and dams industry in the west faces the challenge of demographics and aging facilities while infrastructure investment takes off for a new generation. The problems are the natural fall-out from long-term cycles of demographics and economics and, consequently, opportunity for both investment and employment. In the north west of the US, Seattle City Light (SCL) will see about half its employees eligible to retire in five years or less. Work is underway on succession planning concepts to address the challenge of this human wave of leavers with so many skilled and experienced personnel. SCL is exploring how best to involve the local communities as much as possible, given that the infrastructure is part of the socio-economic fabric and many individuals may seek opportunities to continue to live and seek work near to where they have grown up, or have been working so far.


Reynolds P.,IWP and DC
International Water Power and Dam Construction | Year: 2011

Patrick Reynolds reports how large and small hydropower developments are pushing ahead across Latin America with much cross-border and wider international participation. Projects completed in the last couple of years include: the 241MW Sao Salvador scheme on the Tocantins River between the states of Tocantins and Goais in the north of the country, and developed by a subsidiary of GDF Suez; and the 140MW Baguari plant, which was constructed in the mid-west state of Minas Gerais. Belo Monte will be Brazil's largest hydropower scheme entirely within its borders, and is far larger than the two sister projects that also caught the imagination of the sector in recent years - Jirau and Santo Antonio, in the west of the country. The project comprises two powerhouses - the 11,000MW main facility and a secondary station of 233MW that will be equipped with Francis and bulb turbines, respectively.


Reynolds P.,IWP and DC
International Water Power and Dam Construction | Year: 2011

Holsbru is not Norsk Hydro's only hydropower development at present. It is building the Vasstol project in Suldal, Norway, as part of a scheme to rehabilitate the Finnabuvatn rockfill embankment dam. The small hydro plant will exploit the head between reservoirs for the Roldal plant Finnabutavn and Vasstolvatn. The original Tyin project was constructed in the 1940s to be fed by water from the Tya River, impounded at the Torolmen and Tyin lakes some 1007m and 1040m, respectively, above the underground powerhouse. The subsequent review and analysis led to the decision to replace the existing facility and infrastructure with a larger plant having its own conveyance system and penstock. The existing plant would be decommissioned and lay dormant, its caverns and blocked off tunnels only a short distance through the rock from the new powerhouse and tubes, which tapped more waters at the same altitude in the catchment.


Kovacek D.,IWP and DC
International Water Power and Dam Construction | Year: 2011

Dan Kovacek has made several trips to Sierra Leone in support of a hydropower project design. The potential to couple hydroelectric power with mining - where energy for ore extraction and processing tends to rely on electricity generated in remote locations by burning heavy oil or diesel fuel - has long been a part of Knight Piésold's consulting services. The village of Jagbla lies on the banks of a wide, slow reach of the Teye River, at the foot of a series of large cascades and rapids. Like nearly half of the country's population, the people of Jagbla are subsistence farmers. A six-hour drive from the Cluff exploration camp at the village of Baomahun, located near the geographic center of Sierra Leone, gets us to the end of road access at the village of Madibi.


Reynolds P.,IWP and DC
International Water Power and Dam Construction | Year: 2011

Patrick Reynolds focuses on a full range of hydropower projects that are developing apace in hydrologically-rich and energy-hungry southeast Asia. In a step forward in strengthening ties in hydro between the country and Norway, renowned for its hydro nous, an office was established late last year by the Norwegian firm SN Power, which is active in many parts of the region, such as The Philippines. The design of Xayaburi takes into consideration the guidelines of the Mekong River Commission (MRC) - established to help coordinate the optimum development of the multitude of hydropower and dams projects in the Mekong River basin, the dominate catchment in the region and crossing many international borders. A key feature of the project is the 138m high by 900m long RCC dam, which had an effective placement time of just over two years when completed in August 2010.


Reynolds P.,IWP and DC
International Water Power and Dam Construction | Year: 2011

Hydro Tasmania is refurbishing and upgrading the 125MW Tungatinah scheme on the Upper Derwent system. Constructed in the early 1950s, Tungatinah power plant is located on the Nive River, upstream of the Tarraleah facility. Downstream of these plants there are a further six facilities located on the Derwent River. Over its lifetime the plant and infrastructure has not required too much repair or replacement. Hydro Tasmania notes that with the water being basically clean and cold the corrosion rates are very low. Minimal maintenance has been required for the tunnel, and the trash rack needs are within normal levels. The balance of plant was designed by Entura and procured by Hydro Tasmania. Under a separate project, completed in 2007, the electrical protection, generation transformers and associated switchyard equipment were upgraded on all five units. The first stage of the refurbishment and upgrade program is to be completed over three years, working on one generating unit at a time.


White E.,IWP and DC
International Water Power and Dam Construction | Year: 2011

Hydro delegates in New Zealand have been urged to be true engineers and take responsibility for their projects. Meridian Energy's former chief executive Keith Turner spoke of the remarkable improvements which have been made through refurbishment and add-ons over the past 10-15 years, driven by the commercial disciplines of the New Zealand market. At the conference delegates also learnt how companies will continue to spend money on both new developments and further upgrades. Amongst these Contact Energy is trying to select a favored development option for another dam on the Clutha River. And while Meridian Energy is pressing ahead with its planned 85MW development on the Mokihinui River, it is also looking closely at options to develop a ninth station for the Waitaki chain - a 35MW power station in the discharge canal from Lake Pukaki.

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