Marsh, Hart change positions at Exelon Power

Mary Helen Marsh, former general manager of Exelon Power’s two hydroelectric facilities, is now director of environmental affairs for the company. Diana B. Hart, former director of environmental operations for Exelon Power, is now general manager of the company’s hydro facilities. This job rotation took place in August 2009.

Marsh became general manager of hydro in 2006. Before that, she was general manager of the company’s 345-MW Cromby Generating Station in Pennsylvania. This facility contains one coal-fired unit and a second unit that operates on either natural gas or No. 6 fuel. Prior to that, Marsh worked at Southern Company for nearly 20 years, holding a variety of positions.

Hart became environmental operations director in 2006. Before that, she was manager, radiation protection for Exelon Nuclear for three years. Before joining Exelon, Hart worked for Constellation Energy Group and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Exelon owns and operates the 548-MW Conowingo and 1,071-MW Muddy Run pumped-storage plants in Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Eagle Crest Energy names Divine Chief Executive Officer

J. Douglas Divine
J. Douglas Divine, PhD, is the new chief executive officer (CEO) of Eagle Crest Energy Company in Palm Desert, Calif. Divine replaces Arthur Lowe, founder and CEO of Eagle Crest, who died in February 2009.

Eagle Crest is developing the 1,300-MW Eagle Mountain pumped-storage project in southern California. Eagle Crest holds a preliminary permit from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to study project feasibility. In addition, it gave notice to FERC in October 2008 of its intent to file an application for a license to construct and operate the project.

Before joining Eagle Crest, Divine was vice president, project development for BrightSource Energy Inc., a developer of utility-scale thermal power technology and projects. He also has served as senior vice president, generation development at Reliant Energy and vice president, project development at CalEnergy Inc.

Hackett retires from Portland General Electric

Gary Hackett retired as plant manager of Portland General Electric’s (PGE) Biglow Canyon Wind Farm, effective September 30, 2009. Dale Coyle, an electrical engineer with PGE, is the new Biglow Canyon plant manager. The first 125-MW phase of this plant began operating in December 2007.

Before taking the position of Biglow Canyon plant manager, Hackett was PGE’s manager of hydro engineering support services, working in safety compliance, training, and budgeting. Hackett began his association with hydro as a millright apprentice at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ 2,160-MW John Day powerhouse. He later worked on steam and gas operations for General Electric. In 1980, he joined PGE’s nuclear operations. Four years later, he moved to the hydro side of the utility.

Hackett served as chairman of the National Hydropower Association’s Hydraulic Power Committee and as a member of the HydroVision 2004 and 2006 conference steering committees.

Pearre retires from U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Charles M. Pearre, P.E., has retired from his position as dam safety program manager with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Pearre spent 41 years with the Corps. Since 1996, Pearre served as national program manager for the Dam Safety Program. In this position, he was responsible for coordinating oversight and direction of the dam safety program, developing policy and technical criteria guidance, ensuring adequacy of engineering policy and technical methodology for proposed projects, and resolving project-specific policy issues.

In addition, Pearre served as the Department of Defense representative on the Interagency Committee for Dam Safety and was the Corps’ point of contact with national and international professional associations for the exchange of dam safety technology. He also worked with other federal dam safety agencies to develop joint programs for improving national dam safety.

New Brunswick Power CEO David Hay retires

David D. Hay, the president and chief executive officer of New Brunswick Power Corp. since March 2004, retired on Jan. 31, 2010.

His resignation came a few days after the New Brunswick government revised its plan to sell most of NB Power to Hydro-Quebec for C$4.75 billion (US$4.49 billion). Instead, the government agreed to sell seven hydropower facilities and the Point Lepreau nuclear power plant for C$3.2 billion (US$3 billion).

“With the government having finalized its negotiations with Quebec, this just feels like the right time to move on,” Hay said.

Hay had two years left on his contract, which was extended for three years in spring 2009.

“David Hay retires having turned around the utility and made it a great place to work,” said New Brunswick Energy Minister Jack Keir. “His counsel leading up to this period of transition has been invaluable.”

Grouting consultant Weaver dies

Kenneth D. Weaver, a grouting consultant in Fremont, Calif., died in September.

Previously, Weaver worked as an engineering geologist and grouting specialist for Woodward Clyde Consultants and before that for the California Department of Water Resources.

Weaver authored Dam Foundation Grouting in 1991 and co-authored Dam Foundation Grouting, Revised and Expanded in 2007 with Donald A. Bruce, PhD.

In 2003, the Grouting Committee of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Geo-Institute honored Weaver as a “Grouting Great” for his contributions to the grouting profession.

Bishop joins Knight Piesold and Co. as senior vice president

Norman A. Bishop Jr.
Norman A. Bishop Jr. has accepted the position of senior vice president of hydropower and renewable energy with Knight Piesold and Co.

In this new position, Bishop will lead the company’s diversification endeavors in developing its hydropower and renewable energy business.

 Before joining Knight Piesold, Bishop was vice president, global dams and hydropower market sector leader for MWH Americas Inc. He has more than 35 years of experience in hydroelectric, pumped storage, hydraulic, and water resources projects.

Knight Piesold has been in the hydropower business for more than 80 years, providing technical services with regard to traditional hydroelectric and pumped-storage projects.

Beckwith Electric Co. Inc. founder dies

Robert W. Beckwith, founder of Beckwith Electric Co. Inc. in Largo, Fla, died Oct. 25, 2009. He was 90.

Over the course of his career, Beckwith worked for General Electric and Gulton Industries. In 1967, he founded Beckwith Electric. In 2000, he founded Beckwith Electric Research, a division of Beckwith Electric that conducted engineering and physics research. Beckwith was a licensed professional engineer in New Jersey, New York, and Florida, as well as a life fellow member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE).

Beckwith Electric provides products, technical services, and solutions that meet the needs of customers involved in the production, transmission, and distribution of electric power.

Donations can be made in Beckwith’s name to The Hopi Foundation, P.O. Box 301, Kykotsmovi, AZ 86039; Internet:

Poteet joins HDR|DTA, opens new office

M. Steve Poteet, P.E., is senior project manager/consulting engineer with HDR|DTA.

In this position, Poteet will be responsible for opening a new office in Chattanooga, Tenn., as well as soliciting projects and engineering contracts and recruiting new employees. The new office primarily will be dedicated to supporting HDR|DTA customers such as the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), U.S. Amy Corps of Engineers, Alcoa, and Southern Company.

Before joining HDR|DTA, Poteet worked in hydro engineering at TVA. He began working at TVA in 1979 in the fossil generation support engineering organization. In 1994, Poteet joined the hydro engineering group.

DTA has about 350 employees located in six offices across the U.S. and Canada. The Chattanooga office will become the seventh. HDR acquired DTA in January 2009.

Hydro generator specialist Lyles dies

John F. Lyles

John F. Lyles, P.Eng., a hydro generator design specialist, died November 7, 2009. He was 77.

 In 1955, Lyles joined Canadian General Electric. In 1969, Lyles joined H.G. Acres Ltd. as senior electrical engineer. He began working for Ontario Hydro in 1971, ending as supervising engineer, electrical in the Hydraulic Stations Department. After his retirement in 1993, Lyles worked as a consultant to utilities throughout the world before “retiring” a second time in 2007.

Lyles published many papers for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE) on the design and maintenance of hydro generators. He also taught courses on hydro generator winding maintenance that were organized by EPRI or Iris Power. 

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