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Choose Your Own Adventure at HydroVision International

Issue 4 and Volume 36.

Attend the world’s largest hydro industry event in Denver, Colo., U.S., next month and you can choose the adventure that awaits you, every day.

You are a professional working in the exciting and challenging hydroelectric power industry. It is late June 2017, and you have purchased a full conference delegate registration to attend HydroVision International 2017, the world’s largest hydro industry event. You are joining more than 3,000 people who have gathered in Denver, Colo., U.S., for five days of education and networking.

Learn the value of attending HydroVision International 2017. www.hydroevent.com
Learn the value of attending HydroVision International 2017. www.hydroevent.com

You flew to Denver on Sunday. As soon as you arrived at the airport you started seeing people you know from attending previous HydroVision International events or other hydro industry conferences and meetings. Already you are renewing acquaintances. You then spent the afternoon and evening getting the lay of the land, maybe even took some time to explore the city near your hotel. You had dinner, and now you’re trying to plan your week at the event. But there’s so much to do on Monday, how do you start off?

Monday plans

If you’re interested in attending a technical plant tour, go to “Monday technical tours” (see next column, top right).

If you’re a hydro newbie and want to attend the Waterpower Hydro Basics Course, go to “Waterpower Hydro Basics Course” (see next column, bottom right).

If you elect to attend the co-located seminars, workshops or hydro organization meetings, there’s lots to choose from! (see Monday co-located activities” on page 18).

Monday technical tours

On Monday you arrive at the Colorado Convention Center and board a bus with 50 other hydro professionals for a fascinating technical tour of three small hydropower facilities outside of Denver. On this tour you visit the 2.6-MW Robert V. Trout (Carter Lake) facility owned by Northern Water, the 7.5-MW Gross powerhouse owned by Denver Water and the 5-MW Boulder Canyon project owned by the city of Boulder.

At each stop you learn about the history of the facilities, how they were developed, what makes them unique, and what future plans may be for expansion, rehabilitation, etc. Between stops, you take advantage of the opportunity to network with fellow hydro professionals on the bus.

At the end of the day, you return to the convention center jazzed about hydro and ready to hit the ground running on Tuesday. You even have dinner plans with a new friend you met on the tour. After a fun and relaxing dinner at a restaurant near the convention center, you return to your hotel room to prepare for Day 2.

Turn to “Tuesday plans” on page 18.

Waterpower Hydro Basics Course

If you signed up for the Waterpower Hydro Basics Course well before arriving in Denver, you arrive at the Colorado Convention Center early Monday morning so you can board the bus and attend the optional (limited space available) Waterpower Hydro Basics technical tour. You and about 45 other hydro “newbies” visit the 2-MW Hillcrest facility owned by Denver Water to get a good perspective on an operating hydro facility.

You then travel back to the convention center psyched to spend the next 1.5 days listening to interesting, insightful lectures about all aspects of hydropower. During this course, you hear about turbine and electrical system basics, day-to-day operations, regulatory issues, natural resource stewardship and much more.

After a fun and relaxing dinner at a restaurant near the convention center, you return to your hotel room to prepare for Day 2.

Go to “Tuesday plans” on right.

Monday co-located activities

You are excited that Monday offers several different options in terms of education and networking. The biggest challenge is only being able to attend a couple of these meetings.

Maybe you’re going to have to do video interviews as part of your job. PennWell is offering On-Camera Essentials for Power Industry Professionals, a training program for people who will be appearing on camera to communicate information to viewers. For more in-depth education, Iris Power is organizing a course on Vibration and Airgap Monitoring of Hydrogenerators that lasts all day Monday.

After a fun and relaxing dinner at a restaurant near the convention center, you return to your hotel room to prepare for Day 2.

Tuesday plans

This is a jam-packed day and the event is really getting into full swing. Your options today are even more numerous than they were on Monday, and you arrive with a solid plan of action to make the most of your time.

If you enjoy golfing and plan to spend some time on the links, go to “Golf tournament” below.

If you attended Waterpower Hydro Basics on Monday, turn to “Waterpower Hydro Basics: Day 2” on page 20.

If you weren’t able to attend a technical plant tour Monday and want to do it today, turn to “Tuesday technical tours” on page 20.

If you elect to attend the co-located seminars, workshops or hydro organization meetings, turn to “Tuesday co-located activities” on page 20.

Golf tournament

You arrive at the convention center bright and early to catch the shuttle bus to the Arrowhead Golf Club, where you spend a few hours in the sun enjoying (or pretending to enjoy, for the sake of a business or personal relationship) hitting a little round ball into a little cup. Everyone keeps meticulous scores and nobody fudges their ball placement and in the end one team is declared the winner while the others good-naturedly grumble about luck or wind or the idiosyncrasies of the course.

You then ride the shuttle bus back to the convention center, where people remark on your sun-kissed or wind-blown appearance. You even have time to enjoy lunch at one of the food vendors in the convention center and maybe quickly catch up on your emails.

Then, it’s on to the official opening of HydroVision International. Turn to “Attending the keynote session” on page 22.

Waterpower Hydro Basics: Day 2

Today is a half day that builds on what you learned Monday. Before the course wraps up, you receive a completion certificate and get direction on conference sessions occurring on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday that may appeal to your particular area of interest.

Then, it’s on to the official opening of HydroVision International. Turn to “Attending the keynote session” on page 22.

Tuesday technical tours

If you weren’t able to attend the full-day hydro plant tour on Monday, you’re in luck. Two technical plant tours are offered on Tuesday (provided you signed up no later than June 5). You can choose to attend:

  • Hydro’s Workshop: The Bureau of Reclamation Technical Service Center. This center consists of about 500 scientists and engineers and operates world-class materials and hydraulic engineering laboratories.
  • True Originals: Cabin Creek Pumped Storage and Georgetown Tour. This tour visits Xcel Energy’s 324-MW Cabin Creek pumped-storage complex and 1.6-MW Georgetown small hydro project.

Both of these tours get you back to the convention center in time to enjoy lunch at one of the food vendors and maybe check your email.

Then, it’s on to the official opening of HydroVision International. Turn to “Attending the keynote session” on page 22.

Tuesday co-located activities

Many workshops and meetings are being co-located with the HydroVision International event on Tuesday. These include the:

  • Energy Recovery Hydropower Workshop being organized the Western Small Hydro Association
  • FERC Relicensing – What to Do When the Dollars Don’t Add Up? Surrender or Creatively Relicense being organized by Gomez and Sullivan Engineers
  • Hydro Cavitation Repair organized by Southern Company
  • Hydrogenerator Stator Winding Maintenance Course organized by Iris Power
  • Hydro Research Roundtable – Student Findings and Updates organized by Hydro Research Foundation
  • National Hydropower Association Town Hall
  • Setting Your Hydro Project Up for EHS Success organized by GE Renewable Energy
  • ZOOM Watch Course: On-Demand 24/7 Service for Machine Diagnostics and Monitoring

If you are a member of a hydro organization, you may attend that group’s meeting:

  • International Electrotechnical Commission TC-4 Meeting
  • National Hydropower Association Committee Meetings
  • Northwest Hydroelectric Association Board Meeting
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – Hydropower Business Line Community of Practice

You make the time to attend one, or more, of these exciting offerings and come away educated and energized.

Attending the opening keynote session

Unless you want to spend the next couple of days overhearing people talk about some of the insightful topics discussed and the interesting speakers featured, you need to attend the opening keynote session Tuesday afternoon.

There is a great lineup of speakers who represent all aspects of power generation:

  • Brian D. Good, Chief Administrative Officer of Denver Water, a municipal utility
  • Kristina Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of Cube Hydro, an independent power producer
  • Robert Rowe, President and Chief Executive Officer of NorthWestern Corporation, an investor-owned utility
  • Major General Scott A. Spellmon, Northwestern Division Commander for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a federal power producer

The keynote also will feature representatives of the U.S.’ National Hydropower Association, Canadian Hydropower Association and International Hydropower Association. And the 2017 Hydro Hall of Fame inductees will be unveiled.

Immediately after the keynote session concludes is the official opening of the exhibit hall, including a reception. You attend the reception and start scoping out the exhibit hall for the particular booths you want to visit over the next two days.

You head out with a new acquaintance to grab dinner and prepare for Wednesday.

Wednesday starts the education

You arrive at the convention center Wednesday, a bit overwhelmed, let’s be honest. Conference sessions start on Wednesday and there are so many different opportunities for learning, it can be hard to choose what works best for you.

Luckily you can consult the HydroWorld mobile app, which contains an entire event section that lists all conference sessions occurring. Or perhaps you prefer to look at the large sign located near the conference rooms that contains the “conference grid” of 73 educational sessions. Either way you’ll see that you have a whopping 12 options for learning in the first time slot of the day (9:30-11:30 am).

What’s great is that the conference tracks make it a bit easier to make this decision. If you are interested in Civil Works and Dam Safety, you can attend the session on that topic. If your interest lies in Water and Environment, there’s a session on that topic as well. If you’re looking for more technical information, there are three Technical Papers sessions and a Poster Gallery session to choose from.

Educational opportunities abound during all five days of HydroVision International 2017.
Educational opportunities abound during all five days of HydroVision International 2017.

Another option for learning is to visit the more than 300 exhibiting companies in the exhibit hall. These companies run the gamut from environmental consultants to equipment manufacturers to civil construction contractors. Many will be advertising new products and services, providing a great opportunity to learn about the latest advancements. Others will be showcasing their expertise, with great case studies at operating hydroelectric facilities. The exhibit hall is a can’t-miss for education, and you make sure and spend time there, particularly during lunch and the networking reception.

You definitely take advantage of the opportunity to visit the booths of the companies sponsoring the Harley Davidson motorcycle giveaway and start completing your entry form!

Recognizing special women

You registered in advance to attend the Women with Hydro Vision awards luncheon, so you go to the room and choose a table to enjoy lunch and a stimulating networking opportunity with many women who have made significant, valuable contributions to the hydroelectric power industry. (Men attend as well, so don’t be shy!) You enjoy hearing heartfelt insights from this year’s deserving award winners, a good lunch, and the opportunity to meet many women, and men, who are working in all aspects of hydropower.

Wednesday night is another great opportunity to go out on the city with new connections or to renew old acquaintances.

Thursday is education central

In terms of the sheer volume of content presented, Thursday is the largest day at HydroVision International. A whopping 31 conference sessions are taking place that day, providing an unparalleled opportunity for in-person learning, and you take full advantage.

Luckily you can use the mobile app to determine the “best” session for you during each of the three time slots, as well as visit the exhibit hall during the two coffee breaks and lunch. You make sure to drop off your completed motorcycle giveaway form at the PennWell booth. You come back after the last session of the day for some final booth visits and to see who wins that motorcycle! Was it you?

Mingling in the Mile High City

Networking at events is so important for education and career growth, and the Mile High Mingle Networking Party on Thursday provides the perfect opportunity. You make sure to attend this and meet even more fellow hydro industry professionals. Maybe you even grab a late dinner with a new acquaintance.

Friday equals focused learning

Friday is your final day for education at HydroVision International, and it provides a uniquely focused opportunity because the exhibit hall is now closed, so 100% of your time can be spent in one or more of the 21 conference sessions.

It’s been a long week but packed with valuable learning and networking opportunities, including the Celebrate 2 Innovate, Hiring for Hydro Young Professionals program, and hubs Connect. These helped you connect with others who have similar challenges, and you plan to stay connected with them throughout the year.

I hate to conclude this article on a dull note. If you remember the Choose Your Own Adventure series this article was modeled after, you’ll recall (fondly) that many of the alternative story endings involve the death of the main character. In this article, nobody ends at death. Everybody ends at a great week and a safe plane ride home to put the learning into practice.

Elizabeth Ingram is managing editor of Hydro Review and conference committee chair for HydroVision International.