NHA Announces 2022 Outstanding Stewards of America’s Waters Award Winners
Sacramento, CA (October 19, 2022) – The National Hydropower Association is pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 Outstanding Stewards of America’s Waters (OSAW) Awards, which recognizes projects that have provided extraordinary recreational, historical, environmental or educational value. This year’s winners include: Upstream Tech, CalWave, and Grand River Dam Authority.
“We are pleased to announce this year’s OSAW winners, as the hydropower and marine energy industries continue to provide innovative solutions to improve the communities in which they serve,” said LeRoy Coleman, NHA Director of Communications. “From innovating river forecasting to watershed conservation, these companies exemplify that no other renewable protects and preserves our natural ecosystems quite like hydropower.”
OSAW Awards are given out in three distinct categories: Recreational, Environmental & Historical Enhancement, Operational Excellence and Public Education.
Two projects won an award in the Operational Excellence category, which recognizes projects that add value to the hydropower industry through technical contributions, innovation, engineering, upgrades and improvements or technology breakthroughs for new hydropower technologies.
Upstream Tech: Improving Seasonal Water Resource Management Theory-Guided Machine Learning Inflow Forecasting
Upstream Tech recognized that water patterns across the globe are continuing to fluctuate and existing forecasting approaches are insufficient and, of most concern, inaccurate. HydroForecast was developed as a solution hydropower owners/operators could use to address changing water conditions caused by climate change. HydroForecast offers hydropower owners/operators, utilities, conservation groups and others, North America’s most accurate and usable forecasts for past, present and future streamflows. Providing accurate streamflow information is vital for hydropower owners/operators to maximize clean energy production, inform energy market trading, increase revenue generation and meet environmental regulations.
HydroForecast’s performance was validated during a year-long streamflow forecasting competition hosted by the Centre for Energy Advancement through Technological Innovation’s (CEATI) Hydropower Operations. HydroForecast performed at unprecedented accuracy. At the end of CEATI’s competition, HydroForecast was deemed more accurate further into future forecasts and provided better insight in both drought conditions and 1,000-year storms, beating out leading federal agency-based competition in the process.
CalWave: Unlocking the Power of Ocean Waves for Sustainable Energy Access
CalWave’s xWave™ proved its ability to efficiently generate clean electricity from ocean waves for 10 months. This milestone event marks California’s first at-sea, long-duration wave energy pilot operating fully submerged and is now the longest running, continuously deployed wave energy project ever offshore the continental U.S.
The objectives for the pilot included testing and validating installation procedures, operations, autonomous controls, performance, reliability, and survivability of CalWave’s xWave™ system in open ocean. The device survived two ten-year storm events during the demonstration and utilized remote inspection and a digital twin feature to monitor the health of the system in real-time, also allowing for cost-benefits information.
CalWave collaborated with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to deploy several technologies around the device to collect environmental monitoring data and real-time information about the wave energy converter’s operating status during the performance test. Other key operational and research partners collaborating with CalWave on this project included the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, DNV GL, and UC Berkeley.
RECREATIONAL, ENVIRONMENTAL & HISTORICAL ENHANCEMENT
One company received an award in the Recreational, Environmental & Historical Enhancement category, which recognizes projects that provide enhanced recreational opportunities for the general public; offer measurable benefits that mitigate, conserve, preserve or enhance the natural resources; or conserve historical aspects of hydropower facilities and their integration with the surrounding community.
Grand River Dam Authority: Developing a Watershed Conservation Program to Improve the Long-Term Water Quality of Grand Lake
As part of its licenses to operate hydroelectric projects on the middle Snake River, Idaho Power Company developed the Niagara Springs Sturgeon Hatchery – the first of its kind in Idaho. The hatchery is designed to support a novel approach to the conservation of white sturgeon populations along the 330 miles of the Snake River in Idaho and Oregon between Brownlee Dam and Shoshone Falls Dam. This innovative hatchery operates by receiving fertilized sturgeon eggs from natural spawning events in the Snake River. This approach helps maintain the genetic diversity of the natural population.
About the Outstanding Stewards of America’s Waters Awards
In 1994, the National Hydropower Association (NHA) created the Hydro Achievement Awards to recognize organizations and projects committed to excellence in the development and operation of hydropower. In 1999, NHA added the Outstanding Stewardship of America’s Rivers (OSAR) Report to profile the best examples of hydropower’s ability to generate clean, renewable, reliable and affordable electricity while protecting the riverine ecosystem. Beginning in 2007, these two recognition programs were merged to more effectively provide recognition to deserving organizations and to reflect the changing nature of the hydropower industry, particularly the fact that hydropower can be used in various waterways. The new award program is called the Outstanding Stewards of America’s Waters (OSAW).