A current focus of the hydro industry is to improve and enhance the existing fleet of assets, increase capacity where possible, and ensure the safety of all components of these assets.
Increased funding — via grants, tax credits, and direct pay provided in two laws passed in 2022 (the Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act) – is expected to jumpstart electromechnical, civil, and environmental work at hydro projects throughout the United States.
Just one example is last week’s announcement by the U.S. Department of Energy of $13.5 million in incentive payments to be provided to 55 hydroelectric facilities for adding or expanding power generating capabilities. DOE says the payments announced last week mark a record number of recipients.
At the upcoming “by the industry, for the industry” Clean Currents Conference + Tradeshow, multiple asset owners will be on hand to share what they have planned in terms of future capital investments.
This information sharing takes place in the Innovation Power House during “Meet and Greet” sessions.
HOW DO THE ‘MEET AND GREETS’ WORK?
“It’s an informal setup – attendees stand around a presenter, who is standing next to a kiosk. The presenter is basically interacting with attendees via short snippets (~30 minutes) of content. This approach was well received at the inaugural event, and we’re building it up even more,” says Marla Barnes, vice president of member and industry engagement for the National Hydropower Association, which owns and delivers the Clean Currents event.
The “Meet and Greet” sessions take place throughout Wednesday, October 19, and Thursday, October 20.
All six of the host utilities of this year’s Clean Currents will each participate in a Meet and Greet session. Together, these entities own two-thirds of all the hydropower in California.
- Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Department of the Interior
- California Department of Water Resources
- Northern California Power Agency
- Pacific Gas and Electric Company
- SMUD Sacramento Municipal Utility District
- Yuba Water Agency
Beyond the host utilities, other asset owners, including Grant County Public Utility District, Consumers Energy Company (CMS Energy), and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, will be featured in “Meet and Greet” sessions.
A full list of the Meet and Greet sessions are available here.
Each asset owner will each share specifics of their capital investment pipelines. Attendees will be introduced to the staff at each asset owner who will be responsible for procuring the services and products required for this work and/or responsible for managing these capital improvements. Attendees can interact with those team members and find out more about the specific plans.
“Clean Currents is the only event I know of offering this valuable insight from asset owners in this ‘intentional networking’ structure and in this comprehensive a manner.” Barnes said.
SPECIAL WORKSHOP FOR DOING BUSINESS WITH THE CORPS
In addition to the “Meet and Greet” sessions with asset owners, NHA is working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to offer a half-day workshop specifically for both large and small business contractors to gain insight on current and future Corps’ prime and subcontracting opportunities.
The workshop is on Tuesday, October 18, from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is the largest generator of hydropower in the United States, with 75 hydropower-facilities housing 356 individual generating units. These assets generate more than 70 billion kilowatt-hours per year of clean renewable energy … enough to power 10 cities, each the size of Seattle.
The Corps is continually looking to buy products and services to keep these hydro assets operating effectively and safely.
This workshop will help companies wanting to sell their products and services to the Corps to work through the process.
Anyone registered to attend Clean Currents is automatically registered for this workshop – no extra fees required.
“This workshop will be especially useful to representatives of companies providing services and products who want to do business with one or more of the Corps’ divisions and districts,” Barnes said.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Clean Currents, National Hydropower Association’s waterpower + tradeshow, was created as gathering place for all sectors of the waterpower industry. By providing a space to convene, professionals from conventional hydropower, pumped storage, small hydro, and marine energy can learn from one another, do business, and network.