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Allen named lead mechanical engineer for Corps’ Hydroelectric Design Center

Charlie Allen is the new lead mechanical engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Hydroelectric Design Center (HDC) in Portland, Ore. The position was previously held by Brian Moentenich, who retired in 2006 after a 32-year career.


Charlie Allen
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Allen is the lead turbine technical specialist within the Corps. He supervises the HDC’s 12-person turbomachinery section, which is responsible for hydro turbine and large pump engineering for all Corps hydro projects.

Allen was previously product coordinator for the Corps. Jeff Hurt, who was a team lead engineer in the engineering and construction division of the Corps’ Portland District, now holds this position. Allen has also held engineering and management positions with Allis-Chalmers and Voith Hydro.

Regional director Rodgers retires, Reclamation names Davis acting director

Kirk Rodgers retired from directing the Mid-Pacific Region of the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation, capping 35 years of federal service.


Kirk Rodgers
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Reclamation named deputy regional director John Davis acting director of the region. Based in Sacramento, Calif., Davis oversees water projects in the northern two-thirds of California, most of northern Nevada, and part of southern Oregon.


John Davis
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Reclamation said Rodgers would continue to work for the region on issues involving the San Joaquin Valley, San Joaquin River, and the Sacramento/San Francisco Bay-Delta.

Southern Co. names Allison to manage hydro services

Southern Co. named Eugene Allison Jr. manager of hydro services. Allison succeeds R. Michael Akridge, who is now Southern Co.’s general manager of hydro generation.

In his new job, Allison is responsible for the Alabama Power and Georgia Power groups that provide services involving licensing, dam safety, relicensing, and reservoir management.

Oglethorpe names Messersmith senior vice president of plant operations

Oglethorpe Power Corp. named James Messersmith senior vice president of plant operations. In this position, he oversees the management of all power plants operated by the company.

The title is a new one for the company. Messersmith formerly served as vice president of plant operations, and his duties as senior vice president are unchanged. No one was named to fill the previous position held by Messersmith.

Messersmith joined Oglethorpe Power in 1991 as assistant plant manager at the 848-MW Rocky Mountain pumped-storage plant near Rome, Ga. He was promoted to plant manager in 1994, named director of plant operations in 2001, and appointed vice president of plant operations in 2002.

Consumers Energy names Nickell to supervise Au Sable River operations

Consumers Energy named Dale Nickell operations supervisor for the six hydroelectric projects owned and operated by the company on Michigan’s Au Sable River. Nickell succeeds Alan Bingham, who retired.


Dale Nickell
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Nickell is responsible for overall operations and maintenance of the Au Sable River hydro projects and substations, dams and public safety, and compliance with the project’s Federal Energy Regulatory Commission licenses.

Nickell joined Consumers Energy in 1992 and has held a number of positions with the company, most recently as production lead at the coal-fired Karn plant.

Consumers Energy owns and operates 13 hydroelectric projects with a total capacity of about 132 MW at powerhouses on the Au Sable, Manistee, Muskegon, Grand, and Kalamazoo rivers.

Seattle City Light selects Kent for new position

Rich Kent is energy delivery engineering director at Seattle City Light. He oversees planning and maintenance of transmission and substation engineering facilities.


Rich Kent
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He most recently worked for the Idaho National Laboratory as energy policy lead. Prior to that, Kent was deputy director for the Ocala Electric Utility in Ocala, Fla. He is a registered professional engineer in six states, and has worked for various consultants and utilities during his career.

New York Power Authority announces personnel changes; board member

Roger Kelley has joined the New York Power Authority (NYPA) as president and chief executive officer. The utility also promoted Richard Hackman to the position of chief technology officer.

In other news, NYPA announces James Besha Sr. is the newest member of the board of trustees.


Roger Kelley
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Kelley replaces Timothy Carey, who retired. For the past decade, Kelley served as senior vice president and chief technical officer for Fortistar. In that position, he oversaw technical and operational matters for power plants and assets, acquisition activities, and development activities. Kelley is a registered professional engineer in New York, and a board member and past chairman of the Independent Power Producers of New York.


Richard Hackman
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Hackman previously served as program manager in the Energy Services and Technology business unit. In his new job, Hackman will formulate, develop, and implement new technology solutions for generation and transmission facilities owned by NYPA. Hackman, a 30-year veteran of the electric utility industry, succeeds Shalom Zelingher, who previously held the job. Zelingher died in January (see “Transitions,” April 2007).

Besha, president of Albany Engineering Corp., was confirmed by the New York Senate for a five-year term on the board. The seven-member board provides oversight services for NYPA, the largest state-owned electric utility in the U.S. Besha, a licensed professional engineer in private engineering practice since 1971, has been involved in the planning, development, design, construction management, and operation of hydro projects. He also has provided engineering services for hydro, flood control, and water supply dams.


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