Tech Notes

Study prompts officials to learn about pumped storage

A study commissioned by Voith Hydro is prompting German officials to consider pumped-storage hydroelectric power as an important means of short-term energy storage. Voith Hydro’s headquarters in Heidenheim recently played host to CDU parliamentary group chairman Peter Hauk from the Baden-Wurttemberg state parliament, who used the visit to learn more about pumped-storage’s ability to provide power security for Germany’s industry.

Hauk’s visit was in response to a Voith Hydro-commissioned study by Rheinisch-Wesstfalische Technische Hochschule Aachen (RWTH), which concluded pumped-storage hydropower projects have an important role in Germany’s evolving power generation system.

“Safe and secure energy supplies are the basis for the further economic development of our country,” Hauk said. “In order to make the energy transition a success, we do not only need an expansion of regenerative energies, but also of the networks. The further development of the storage facilities is equally important. This is a field where we should also utilize the know-how about pumped-storage technology, which is available especially in Germany.”

Germany is home to the 1,050 MW Markersbach and 1,060 MW Goldisthal pumped-storage plants and the country is eyeing the construction of additional projects as its wind and solar sectors continue growing.

Bank seeks reforestation study for 108 MW Dariali project in Georgia

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) plans to hire a consultant to perform a technical assessment and feasibility study of a reforestation plan for the 108 MW Dariali project in Georgia.

JSC Dariali Energy, a U.S.-Georgia joint venture,—central-asia/georgian-hydropower-turns-river.html plans to invest US$135 million in the Dariali project on the Tergi River. Dariali, then estimated at 50 MW, was among 78 small and medium-sized projects that Georgia’s Ministry of Energy offered to investors on a build-own-operate basis in 2008. The World Bank approved financing in May of US$60 million to help develop Georgia’s hydro sector.

Mountains in the Dariali project area have been deforested in previous centuries. The population and pressure on land use is low so the potential for reforestation is high, EBRD said.

Consultants would perform data collection and technical assessment; assess feasibility of reforestation including environmental and social risks and benefits; engage stakeholders and determine institutional and legal feasibility; and deliver a cost-effective reforestation program that Dariali Energy could implement from its own funds. The work would require 12 months beginning in September at a cost of €200,000 (US$296,326).

With financing from the Austrian Technical Assistance Cooperation Fund, EBRD invites expressions of interest from consulting firms registered in Austria employing Austrian nationals. A maximum of 35% of the contract amount may be used for services of domestic experts who are nationals of Georgia or consultancy firms registered in Georgia.

Best Technical Papers awards presented at HydroVision International 2014

At the awards and luncheon closing finale for HydroVision International 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee, USA, winners of the Best Technical Papers awards were announced by HRW-Hydro Review Worldwide Managing Editor Elizabeth Ingram. HydroVision International is the world’s largest hydro industry conference and exhibition.

These awards are given to the strongest technical papers presented over the three days of the conference program. The first, second and third place winners were chosen by the HydroVision International 2014 technical papers committee. Committee members reviewed all technical papers and poster gallery presentations received in five categories. The first place winners are listed here; a complete list of winners is available at:

For Environmental & Social:
— Design of a Fish Collector with a Numerical Model by Marcela Politano, Antonio Arenas Amado, Troy Lyons and Larry Weber with the University of Iowa and Kirk Kessler with Tacoma Power

For Equipment & Technology:
— New Grid Codes for Distributed Generation: Impact on the Transient Stability of Small Hydro Generators by Mario Arquilla and Fabio Pasut with STE Energy SpA

For Market Trends & Strategies:
— Modeling and Simulation of Advanced Pumped-Storage Hydropower Technologies and their Contributions to the Power System by Vladimir Koritarov with Argonne National Laboratory, Tao Guo with Energy Exemplar, Erik Ela with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Bruno Trouille with MWH Americas, James Feltes with Siemens Power Technologies International and Michael Reed with the U.S. Department of Energy

For Project Management & Operations:
— Fire at Ronald B. Robie (Thermalito) Pumping-Generating Plant by David Roose with the California Department of Water Resources and Derek Stewart with Pacific Power Engineers

For Water Management & Movement:
— A Novel Approach for Optimizing Cascaded Hydropower Systems with Multiple Owners by David Beevers and Horacio Perez-Blanco with Penn State University

The winners were presented with plaques and certificates at the event.

For more on the next HydroVision International, to be held in Portland, Oregon, USA, in 2015, visit:

JHP signs exclusive import deal with China’s Tianjin Tianfa

A recently signed deal between California-based importer JHP & Associates Inc. and Chinese manufacturer Tianjin Tianfa gives North American hydropower project developers a new option for components and equipment.

The agreement comes after an exhaustive search of qualified factories in China, JHP Chief Executive Officer John Zhang said, with Tianfa being selected based on its experience in designing and manufacturing Kaplan, Francis and bulb-type turbines and generators. The deal gives JHP exclusive sales and service rights for Tianfa in North America. JHP’s offices in America and China will provide consulting and design services, while its independent quality assurance and control team will oversee production at Tianfa.

On behalf of Tianfa, JHP was able to secure a significant bond facility from a world leading surety company. Combined with Tianfa, JHP is also capable of supplying runner and valve replacements and upgrades, as well as water-to-wire packages.

Zhang said JHP’s goal is to change the way the market thinks about Chinese-manufactured goods. “Our goal is to set the complete new standard for ‘Made in China’,” he said.

Tianfa has contributed equipment to more than 360 hydro projects worldwide, with 932 turbine-generator units installed accounting for almost 13,000 MW of power. JHP’s design and engineering team brings extensive experience for designing and supplying turbines and generators for about 400 power plants as well.

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