Your Top 5 for 2021: Waterpower Insights

Your Top 5 for 2021: Waterpower Insights

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As the year comes to a close, here at POWERHOUSE, we took a look back at the articles and topics that resonated most with our readers.

What did we find?

For one, your interests are quite varied – you care about everything from government leaders and policies to fish protection, and from dam removal to the next generation of the waterpower workforce.

Not surprisingly, you want to know what the future holds for owners and operators of hydroelectric projects.

Also top of mind for readers is the development of pumped storage and marine energy projects to contribute to a clean energy grid. So is application of innovation and technology in real-world situations.

Furthermore, you recognize the value and importance of the work of the “uncommon” dialogue with environmentalists and the hydropower industry to create collaboration and move forward on the three “Rs.”

And, you care about communication and telling the industry’s story – “Waterpower is an important part of the clean energy future – the industry needs to tell that story. If we don’t tell our story, someone else will tell it for us.”

Countdown to Top 5 most read POWERHOUSE articles of 2021

#5: FERC Order for Studying New Pumped Storage Project Points to Need for Long-Duration Storage

Find the article HERE

In the past ten years, there has been a surge of interest among the developer and finance community to build new pumped-storage facilities.

The latest activity occurred on June 28, 2021, when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an order approving Daybreak Power’s application for a preliminary permit to develop a 2,650-MW pumped-storage hydro project on Lake Roosevelt in Washington State.

#4: Biden’s Appointees are Clean Energy Champions; Their Embrace of Hydropower Unknown

Find the article HERE

President Biden appointed an all-star roster of clean energy champions to his Administration as part of his “whole-of-the-government” approach to address climate change. These early appointments offer huge opportunities – and risks – for the hydropower industry.

In this article, NHA provides insight on these appointees at the White House, U.S. Department of Energy, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. Department of the Interior.

#3: Rapid Change Expected in North American Hydro Industry

Find the article HERE

Preliminary results from the first annual “Ear to the River” survey of hydro asset owners in North America show the industry is (or will be) changing rapidly owing to the transition to clean energy.

Among the changes:

  • An increase in direct power purchase agreements with corporations and universities.
  • Increased use of batteries and co-located renewable generation to provide firm renewable power.
  • An increase in pumped-storage development.
  • Continued investment in existing projects.
  • Better recognition and compensation for hydro’s role in balancing other renewables in the future.
  • Increased consideration of decommissioning some existing hydro assets due to poor project economics and low energy prices.

#2: Top Ten Takeaways from Clean Currents 2021

The inaugural annual Clean Currents Tradeshow + Conference held the week of October 18, 2021, brought together more than 780 individuals from all sectors of the waterpower industry to learn, connect, and do business.

The top ten takeaways are reported here, as observed by the National Hydropower Association, owner and organizer of Clean Currents.

#1: Seattle City Light Shares Experience with Removing a Dam and Restoring a Stream for Fish

Find the article HERE

When a dam no longer serves a useful purpose, removing it is an option that comes with the benefit of restoring the waterway’s natural flow and rehabilitating native fish populations.

But removing a dam is no easy task.

Seattle City Light was faced with this challenge over the past four years as it worked to implement multiple projects to remove a no-longer-used 55-foot-high concrete dam on Sullivan Creek and restore more than 15 miles of stream channel within the Sullivan Creek watershed in eastern Washington State, about 80 miles north of Spokane.

With the completion of the dam removal and stream restoration, both the utility and the stakeholders working with Seattle City Light on the relicensing are pleased with the results.

On to 2022

As we move into the new year, let the National Hydropower Association, publisher of POWERHOUSE, know what you want to know … What insights are you seeking? What are you and your colleagues’ top learning needs? How can we best help you connect with others in the industry and those who affect the industry?

Send your suggestions, questions, and comments to us.

Happy New Year!