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EPRI seeks test site for fish friendly hydropower turbine

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is seeking an additional demonstration site at an existing or new hydropower development to install and evaluate the fish-friendly Alden Turbine.

EPRI, via a grant from U.S. Department of Energy and industry co-funders, is working on the engineering design of a hydropower turbine (Alden Turbine) with features that significantly reduce fish injury and mortality, EPRI reported.

EPRI is an independent, non-profit company performing research, development and demonstration in the electricity sector for the benefit of the public.

The industry solicitation will be launched in April, and respondents can apply via a web-based application site. Two or three projects will be selected for detailed evaluation, and a final site will be selected by the end of 2010, EPRI reported.

Future work, pending the availability of funds, will focus on engineering and installation plans. The ideal site should have between 40 and 80 feet of head and flows ranging from 1,000 to 2,000 cfs. The demonstration site selected will complement a tentatively planned demonstration project at Brookfield Renewable Power's School Street Hydroelectric Project in New York.

This project presents an opportunity for the successful applicant to lead the industry in completion of a strategic research and development initiative, obtain cost-share funds to minimize investment risks, potentially expedite project licensing and enhance opportunities to expand hydropower generation, EPRI said.

— For more information, contact Douglas Dixon, E-mail: ddixon@epri.com.

Reclamation plans zebra mussel studies for western U.S.

The U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation plans to conduct studies related to invasive zebra and quagga mussels.

As a first step, Reclamation's Denver office is seeking firms with knowledge of invasive mussel issues and expertise in prevention; monitoring; detection; impacts at hydropower, water conveyance, water distribution, and related water resources facilities; mitigation; control strategies; and facility protection technologies. It seeks companies with experience in conducting at least three facility vulnerability assessments, research related to invasive mussel biology and environmental suitability for survival and establishment, and independent peer review for a broad range of mussel-related research.

The agency intends to determine if there are an adequate number of interested and qualified firms to complete work related to the foreign species, which are spreading through U.S. waterways. Based on information received, Reclamation will decide whether to proceed with an unrestricted solicitation for the work or to set aside the acquisition for small businesses or other subcategories of contractors.

Work would be performed in 17 western states under Reclamation jurisdiction.

— Contact Melanie Russell, (1) 801-524-3851; E-mail: mrussell@usbr.gov.

Millions awarded to hydropower projects in New York

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority in conjunction with the Public Service Commission has awarded $204 million to eight large-scale renewable energy projects, including hydropower projects.

The funding will support upgrades to the Wappingers Falls and Taylorville projects as well as other hydro developments. It also will support wind power initiatives at the Hardscrabble, Steel Winds II, and Marble River projects.

Once operational, the eight projects will add more than 318 MW of renewable capacity.

In 2009, the Public Service Commission expanded the goal to increase the proportion of renewable electricity sold in New York to 30 percent by 2015.

EPRI names Turner new board chair

EPRI has named James L. Turner, a group executive at Duke Energy and president of its U.S. franchised electric and gas business, chair of its board of directors.

In this position, Turner will lead the board from April 2010 through April 2011. "We are extremely fortunate to have a person of Jim's caliber lead our board over the next year," says Steve Spacker, EPRI president and chief executive officer. "His wide experience in key aspects of utility operations and his vision that technology evolution is critical to address the challenges faced by the industry make him ideally suited for this role."

At Duke, Turner has overall profit and loss responsibility for the regulated business segment, the company's largest. He also directly oversees power delivery, gas distribution, customer service, fuel and portfolio optimization, wholesale business, new generation projects, and environmental health and safety.

EPRI was established in 1973. Its collaborative science and technology research programs span environment, generation, and delivery and end use.

NREL launches new strategic energy analysis institute

The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has established a new global institute dedicated to analyzing, speeding, and smoothing the transition to sustainable energy worldwide.

NREL Senior Scientist Doug Arent was named executive director of the new Joint Institute for Strategic Energy Analysis (JISEA) by its institutional partners, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, University of Colorado, Colorado School of Mines, Colorado State University, and NREL.

The institute aims to use the best tools and most credible data to guide decisions on energy investment and policy — decisions made by policy makers, energy companies, investors, and lawmakers around the world.

"We want to bring breadth and depth of analytical capabilities to conduct seminal studies to help inform the transition of the global energy economy toward one of sustainability," said Arent, who directed NREL's Strategic Energy Analysis Center from 2006 to 2010.

JISEA will sponsor research combining the talents of scientists, financiers, and other experts that will be placed in top peer-reviewed journals in various fields. The conclusions will help policy makers decide where to invest money, manpower, and resources.

Arent specializes in strategic planning in clean energy and water issues. In 2008, he was appointed to the National Academy of Sciences Panel on Limiting the Magnitude of Future Climate Change.

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