First Look at the HydroVision International Conference Program

Knowing more about the extensive educational content that will be presented at Hydro Vision International in Denver the week of July 22 will help you plan your attendce at the largest hydropower industry event in the world.

By Elizabeth Ingram

The HydroVision International event offers a remarkably robust conference program. In fact, at any given time during the three days of the conference, attendees can choose from no fewer than 11 different educational sessions on a broad range of topics. This conference is guaranteed to provide something for everyone in the hydro industry.

The conference portion of HydroVision International – being held the week of July 22 in Denver – provides a mix of session formats. Seven consecutive panel presentation tracks feature moderated, interactive discussions by panelists who are subject matter experts. Three consecutive technical paper tracks feature the more traditional format of technical talks by several presenters, with full papers that can be accessed online via the event website. And the poster presentation track features highly specialized topics that are more suited to small group or one-on-one discussions. The poster authors are available during the first session of each day to explain the presentation in detail, but the posters remain up the entire day for viewing at your convenience.

With all of these formats and the wide variety of content being presented, there’s no chance you can walk away from this event without broadening your understanding of key topics and getting expert answers to your most pressing questions.

How do the conference organizers know the content is so relevant to your needs? Every year, we compile two committees to help guide and shape the conference program so that it discusses the latest trends, news and information vital to the hydroelectric industry.

The steering committee has more than 70 members from every aspect of the industry. These members are experts and thought leaders who know and understand the market and those who work in it. Steering committee members work together to choose the topics to be presented during the seven panel presentation sessions in each of the seven tracks at HydroVision International: Asset Management, Civil Works & Dam Safety, New Development, Ocean/Tidal/Stream Power, Operations & Maintenance, Regulation & Policy, and Water Resources.

The technical papers committee consists of more than 30 members with relevant technical expertise in hydropower and related fields. Members of this committee review all abstracts submitted for the conference, broken down into five broad categories: Environmental/Social, Equipment & Technology, Market Trends & Strategies, Project Management & Operations, and Water Management & Movement. Abstracts that rate sufficiently high in terms of content and applicability to the industry are then scheduled into one of 21 technical paper presentation sessions. This committee also chooses the topics that will be covered during the three poster presentation sessions.

Panel presentation sessions

The panel presentations for this year’s Hydro Vision International are shaping up to be truly useful, educational and hands-on for attendees. All the session moderators, as well as many panelists, have been chosen. A few of the notable moderators who will guide the content of these sessions are:

– Cameron Ironside, programme director with the International Hydropower Association;

– Mark Jones, manager of federal hydro projects with the Bonneville Power Administration;

– Wayne King, regional engineer, division of dam safety and inspections with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission;

– Ron McKinnon, manager, plant programs and environmental support with Manitoba Hydro;

– Sean O’Neill, president of the Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition;

– Kamau Sadiki, national hydropower business line manager with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; and

– Michael Sale, executive director of the Low Impact Hydropower Institute.

Although there are many hot topics right now in the hydropower arena, a couple of really interesting sessions are planned that will cover policies and regulations related to pumped storage and managing and extending the life of a dam.

Colin L. Clark, P.Eng., chief technical officer of Brookfield Asset Management in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, is moderating a session in the Policies & Regulations track entitled Pumped Storage – Markets, Transmission, and Financing. This interactive session is designed to help attendees gain knowledge about the relationships between markets, generation and transmission.

Flexible energy storage is an essential aspect of an efficient, reliable electricity supply system, and pumped storage is the leading technology to supply this need, Clark says. This expert panel will explain how this atmosphere affects the development of new pumped-storage facilities.

C. Richard Donnelly, P.Eng., director of water power for Hatch Ltd. in Canada, is moderating the How Long Will Your Dam Last? session in the Civil Works & Dam Safety track. In this session, panelists and audience members will participate in a spirited interactive discussion on the issues that can reduce the life of a dam and the measures one can take to mitigate these issues and extend the life of the structure, Donnelly says.

Technical paper sessions

The 21 technical paper sessions at HydroVision International each feature several technical papers on related topics. Sessions are offered on fish passage and guidance, turbines, controls and instrumentation, energy storage, dam safety and construction, hydraulic modeling, environmental issues related to hydropower licensing and compliance, trends in international hydro development, and much more.

Interest in the technical paper presentations for HydroVision International 2013 was unprecedented, with more than 250 abstracts. Although this makes the job of the technical papers committee extremely difficult, it means the papers chosen for presentation truly are the “best of the best” the hydropower industry has to offer.

William Newman, principal engineer-hydro services with GE Energy, is technical paper committee chair for the event. “HydroVision International is the perfect opportunity for anyone involved with the hydro industry to gain valuable knowledge of the latest technical trends, experiences with an aging infrastructure, and sharing best practices to improve a vital segment of the overall energy market,” he says.

Poster galleries

Each day of the conference, a poster presentation session is offered. During these sessions, poster authors display their presentations at a centralized location at HydroVision International. Poster authors will remain with their posters during the first session of each day to provide more details and answer attendee questions. The posters remain up the entire day, for viewing at your leisure, and will be replaced the next day by a new set of presentations.

Posters gallery presentations cover the same wide range of topics as the technical paper sessions, including bearings, project design, technical advances, equipment supply and more.

For the most up-to-date information on HydroVision International, visit the website at

HydroVision around the world

HydroVision International is not the only great opportunity for learning in the hydropower arena. PennWell Corporation also offers the HydroVision Russia, HydroVision India and HydroVision Brasil events each year.

HydroVision Russia was held March 5-6 in Moscow, with broad international participation. In 2012, this and the co-located Russia Power event attracted 5,851 attendees from 62 countries.

The event featured seven conference sessions over two days addressing refurbishment; civil works and dams; systems and innovations; hydro resources; design, control systems and operations; electrical equipment; and turbines.

HydroVision India will be held May 6-8 in Mumbai. The theme of this conference is Indian Power – Time to Deliver and it focuses on technical topics – such as new equipment design, dam engineering for the Indian hydropower landscape, rural electrification, and pumped storage – as well as such strategic topics as financing, policies and regulations.

HydroVision India is co-located with POWER-GEN India & Central Asia and Renewable Energy World India. In 2012, more than 9,000 industry professionals from more than 40 countries attended this event.

Finally, HydroVision Brasil will be held September 24-26 in Sao Paulo. In 2013, HydroVision Brasil will be co-located with DistribuTECH Brasil and POWER-GEN Brasil.

The educational program is designed for individuals working within the utility and private power sectors, as well as engineering and commercial personnel. Content is relevant to day-to-day operations of the hydroelectric industry, focusing on solutions and practical approaches.

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

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