What’s New at HydroVision International

“New” is a byword of the HydroVision International event. Every year we start from scratch to craft an event that satisfies the needs of the wide cross-section of the hydroelectric power industry, and 2014 may have more that’s new than ever before.

Every June issue of Hydro Review, we take the time and space to let our readers know about the upcoming HydroVision International event and all the great learning and networking opportunities available. HydroVision International 2014 takes place the week of July 21 to 25 in Nashville, Tenn. It really is a jam-packed week! We have a lot of people who return to this event every year, but we also have a significant percentage of attendees who have never been to HydroVision International before. So what can we tell you that would be useful to both of these groups?

The HydroVision International exhibit hall provides more than 300 chances for learning about the industry's products and services, by visiting exhibitors' booths.
The HydroVision International exhibit hall provides more than 300 chances for learning about the industry’s products and services, by visiting exhibitors’ booths.

New opportunities abound

I am pleased to say there are so many great new opportunities for learning and networking at HydroVision International 2014, it’s not hard to find a direction for this article.

Perhaps most important, I want to point out that HydroVision International is 20 Years Strong in 2014. We are pretty proud of this milestone, and we’ve got some great new programs and promotions in place to celebrate it.

For example, we are offering a special Power Producer Training Program. This program, open to anyone working for a power producer, offers a discounted registration rate for attendees. Power producers get access to all HydroVision International conference sessions, online conference papers and presentations, keynote address, exhibit hall, networking receptions, Thursday evening networking party, and awards and luncheon closing finale. In addition, power producers get a discounted rate to attend the Waterpower Hydro Basics Course and receive a 25% discount off any of the three technical tours.

We also are offering “Free Friday” for all exhibitor booth staff. The exhibit hall closes Thursday evening, so all the staff who are working their companies’ booths have completed their duties. But with this program, all exhibitor booth staff receive complimentary admittance into any of the 21 conference sessions taking place on Friday, July 25. That means they can take advantage of some great learning and networking opportunities on that last day.

Another great new program this year is our exhibitor showcase. This consists of product demonstrations on the exhibit floor, scheduled at the company’s booth. Both Kiewit and Hydro Consulting and Maintenance Services (HCMS) are participating in this program. Presentations will take place on Wednesday and Thursday. A complete list of all scheduled exhibitor showcases will be available when you pick up your badge.

Attendees also can watch Hydro TV on monitors at the event, as well as on the www.hydroevent.com and www.hydroworld.com websites. Hydro TV features a variety of videos, including videos about specific companies or organizations. Our video crew will also be filming interviews and capturing the HydroVision International experience for Hydro TV.

A new program I’m especially pleased to announce is our Women with Hydro Vision awards. This program recognizes the most influential women in hydro in 10 key categories. These women, who have made and/or are continuing to make significant contributions to the hydro industry by sharing their unique talents and “vision,” will be recognized at a ticketed luncheon on Tuesday, July 22. This luncheon is open to all attendees, and tickets are just $20. Come celebrate with these amazing individuals! This luncheon provides a unique opportunity to sit and talk with these influential women in a small group setting.

The awards and luncheon closing finale on Friday is a great wrap-up of the event. We present a variety of awards, including the inductees into the 2014 Hydro Hall of Fame, the best technical papers, and attendees’ choice awards for best panel discussion sessions. We will also recognize the 10 women with hydro vision. And, we have a featured speaker, Pat Bernard Ezzell, corporate historian with the Tennessee Valley Authority. Pat will give an interesting, engaging presentation that highlights TVA’s historical photo collection and discusses the formation of TVA and its goal to deliver low-cost electricity and manage natural resources.

The keynote session at HydroVision International presents a great opportunity to get a true overview of the hydroelectric power industry globally, and this session kicks off the next three days of learning and networking at the event.
The keynote session at HydroVision International presents a great opportunity to get a true overview of the hydroelectric power industry globally, and this session kicks off the next three days of learning and networking at the event.

Co-located events

Our co-located events are new every year. This year’s co-located seminars, workshops and briefings are wide-ranging:

– EPRI Water Power Research Program Review – R&D Status and Needs organized by the Electric Power Research Institute;
– Hydro Fellow Research Update and Findings organized by Hydro Research Foundation (HRF);
– Hydroelectric Thrust and Guide Bearing Workshop organized by Pioneer Motor Bearing Co.;
– Hydrogenerator Stator Winding Maintenance organized by Iris Power;
– Machine Condition Monitoring organized by VibroSystM Inc.; and
– Waterpower Hydro Basics organized by Hydro Training Institute.

Several organizations are hosting meetings at HydroVision International, including the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, HRF, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, International Electrotechnical Commission, National Hydropower Association (NHA), and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Waterpower Hydro Basics is not new this year, but it is an invaluable opportunity for people new to hydro get up to speed quickly. This two-day course, organized by the Hydro Training Institute, is highly practical in nature and features qualified faculty representing consulting companies, equipment manufacturers, independent consultants, utilities, power authorities and regulatory agencies. At the end of this course, attendees will come out with greatly expanded knowledge and will be equipped with a list of “not-to-be-missed” sessions and exhibitors that will help them make the most of their time at HydroVision International.

A special new offering this year is the Turbine Runner 5K, a fun run benefiting HRF. This run leaves from the historic downtown area of Nashville the morning of Wednesday, July 23, and takes a lap around the Titan’s stadium and around town. The run supports the HRF programs to promote hydropower education and research.

And it wouldn’t be HydroVision without the annual golf tournament. This year’s tournament will be held at the Hermitage Golf Course – General’s Retreat. It runs from 6:30 am to 1:30 pm and includes breakfast and lunch.

Three technical tours round out the opportunities on Monday and Tuesday, before the keynote session.

Monday features a full-day tour of two hydro facilities: the Corps’ 130-MW Barkley plant and the Tennessee Valley Authority’s 184-MW Kentucky Dam. Barkley began operating in 1966 and has an availability rate of 96.9%. Kentucky Dam began operating in 1944 and impounds the largest artificial lake in the eastern U.S. This tour also takes attendees to Lake Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, which is located between the two hydro facilities.

Another, shorter tour opportunity on Monday takes attendees to the Corps’ 100-MW Old Hickory plant. This tour will show attendees the inner workings of a “typical” hydro plant. It also will illustrate how the Corps has been dealing with alignment problems on one unit due to concrete in the powerhouse not heating uniformly in the sun.

And on Tuesday, a half-day technical tour features the Corps’ 135-MW Center Hill project. In addition to being a valuable source of power production, Center Hill Dam provides great value in controlling the floodwaters of the Caney Fork River. However, the dam is currently undergoing work to deal with seepage. And there are future plans to refurbish all three turbine-generator units. Attendees of this tour will arrive back at the convention center with plenty of time to attend the keynote session later that afternoon.

The keynote session is new every year. This year’s speaker lineup is impressive:

– Lieutenant General Thomas P. Bostick, 53rd U.S. Army Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the Corps, will discuss the Corps’ plans and investments for modernizing its fleet of aging hydropower and civil infrastructure facilities, as well as its ongoing work with more than 65 non-federal partners to advance the development of hydro at its non-powered dams;

– Meike van Ginneken, sector manager for energy in west and central Africa for the World Bank, will share unique insights on the meaning of “sustainable hydropower” and on the World Bank’s experience in enhancing its support for hydropower, including the sometimes neglected concept of the physical sustainability of hydropower projects.

– Linda Church Ciocci, executive director of NHA, will speak to the results of the legislation enacted in 2013 that was favorable to hydropower in the U.S., as well as possible legislative, regulatory and/or administrative improvements being discussed to make the U.S. hydro licensing process less time-consuming, duplicative and costly.

– Jacob Irving, president of the Canadian Hydropower Association, will provide an outlook of business activity in the Canadian hydro market, including where new hydro development is occurring, where it is planned for the future, and the potential market for refurbishment, efficiency improvements and capacity increases at existing hydro facilities.

Networking opportunities abound, culminating in the Thursday night Hydro Honky Tonk. Let loose and enjoy food, drinks and live music while networking with colleagues in a relaxed, social atmosphere. If you didn’t attend this party last year, you missed a great display of karaoke prowess by attendees (and PennWell staff) that may very well be repeated this year!

Hot topics

This year, you can listen to and ask questions of about 400 speakers from 19 countries. Every year, the conference is organized into seven panel presentation session “tracks” that capture the breadth of the hydropower industry:

– Asset Management;
– Civil Works and Dam Safety;
– New Development;
– Operations & Maintenance;
– Policies & Regulations;
– Water Resources; and
– Wave, Tidal and In-Stream Power.

However, it may seem that the same topics are covered from year to year. This is not the case. Each year a steering committee made up of key members of the hydroelectric power industry meet for a full-day brainstorming session. During this meeting, members with expertise in each of the seven tracks mentioned above put together the sessions to be presented at the upcoming event. Yes, there will be some repetition of topics, especially if they are “hot” or ongoing issues. But the great majority of the year’s educational content is brand new.

To emphasize this, we have selected some sessions that fit into a variety of “hot topics” that transcend the track organization mentioned above. These sessions may be organized in several different tracks, so don’t miss them:

– Financing (with sessions such as The Challenge of Balancing Risks and Rewards in the Finance World);

– Hydro’s role in balancing intermittent renewables (with sessions such as Impact of Intermittent Renewables: O&M Now and in the Future);

– New U.S. hydro legislation – and how it affects the industry (with sessions such as Update on New Hydro Legislation in the U.S.);

– Workforce and training (with sessions such as Capturing Family Folklore and Tribal Knowledge); and

– International perspectives (with sessions including Dam Safety from a Global Perspective).

HydroVision International also features three tracks of more traditional technical paper presentations, as well as a daily poster gallery. The 21 technical paper sessions cover a wide variety of topics, from pumped storage development to hydro control systems to infrastructure decisions.

The three poster gallery sessions feature topics concepts that may be most effectively communicated through a visual presentation. For the poster gallery, an author posts a presentation that remains up the entire day for viewing at attendees’ leisure, but the authors will be available during the first conference session time slot of each day to meet with attendees and explain their work.

HydroVision International is the major hydropower industry event and an invaluable learning and networking opportunity. You still have plenty of time to register for this event. So visit www.hydroevent.com to learn more or to sign up to attend. We hope to see you there!

By the numbers

HydroVision International is the world’s largest hydroelectric power event. As such, we expect more than 3,100 attendees from more than 50 countries. The event boasts more than 300 exhibiting companies and over 350 of the industry’s top speakers. We have 9 conference tracks and 73 conference sessions, and attendance can earn you 15 professional development hours. Attendance at the event rose by more than 17% from 2012 to 2013.

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

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