Hydropower Industry Bestows Lifetime Achievement Award on Michael A. Murphy

Hydropower Industry Bestows Lifetime Achievement Award on Michael A. Murphy

The National Hydropower Association (NHA) is pleased to announce Michael Murphy was presented with the Dr. Kenneth Henwood Award at Waterpower Week in Washington. The Henwood award is given in recognition of a lifetime of achievement and is NHA’s most prestigious honor. Murphy was selected by a committee of his peers in recognition of his life-long dedication to the hydropower industry.

“I hope that my career in hydropower demonstrates a strong belief and passion for hydropower; the belief that we’re involved in something real and valuable for today and for our future,” Murphy says. “At the end of the day, it’s such a great industry to be involved in and has so many passionate people all working on the same team–including NHA staff, member companies and service providers–to make it easier for people in hydropower to do their jobs.”

Murphy retired in January, ending a more than 30-year career in the hydropower industry. Prior to retiring, Murphy was Vice-President and National Market Director for Hydropower with TRC, an engineering, environmental consulting and construction management firm with offices across the country.

His career began as an attorney for Vermont-based Green Mountain Power, handling rate cases, power supply and environmental issues, and overseeing the relicensing and compliance for eight hydroelectric projects. He later joined Central Maine Power (CMP), where he managed relicensing and compliance for more than 30 hydroelectric facilities. In 1999, CMP divested its hydroelectric assets, leaving 50 employees without jobs. As a result, Murphy and three partners created EPRO and offered jobs to those 50 employees. After growing their national consulting firm to more than 150 employees, they sold EPRO to TRC, where Murphy worked until he retired.

Murphy’s “jack-of-all-trades” resume for the hydropower industry, including serving in positions such as project manager, attorney, senior strategist and hydropower business owner, provided a strong understanding of the industry’s many facets. He often served as a resource to help hydroelectric clients maneuver the regulatory framework of relicensing and compliance. He also helped prospective hydropower owners evaluate the operational, economic and regulatory challenges involved in purchasing and owning a hydropower project.

Murphy has been a long-time political proponent of hydropower, speaking before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and testifying before Congress and the Clinton Administration. He was a key part of developing the foundation for many of the reform proposals included in the EPAct 2005 and helped to ensure balance was restored to the licensing provisions of the Federal Power Act.

Known for his commitment to hydro, Murphy has been an active participant with NHA in many capacities. He served as President from 1999 to 2000 during which he was instrumental in expanding NHA’s reach beyond the beltway, speaking to other hydropower organizations including the Northwest Hydropower Association and the Canadian Hydropower Association. He also participated in a National Public Radio debate about hydropower. As President, he helped establish the Regional Meetings Program and worked to bring the Hydraulic Power Committee to NHA.

Murphy also served as a member of NHA’s Board of Directors for six years, Chair of NHA’s Legislative Affairs Committee twice and Chair of the NHA Henwood Committee. He served on the NHA Annual Conference Steering Committee, numerous Regional Conference Steering Committees and the Regulatory Affairs Committee. In addition to his involvement in NHA, he was a member of the EEI Hydroelectric Issues Group for many years and served as Track Chair for the Water Resources track at Hydrovision from 2000 to 2017.