Volume 3 Issue 9 Nov/Dec

How Hydro Enables Multiuse Projects

By Kris Polly

One of the beautiful things about hydropower is how well it lends itself to multifunction projects. Large dams and reservoirs, for instance, frequently enable agricultural and municipal water diversion, flood control, and recreational uses. However, as several articles in this month’s Hydro Leader demonstrate, the opposite is also true: Irrigation and municipal projects often provide excellent opportunities to generate hydroelectric power.

Emrgy is a manufacturer of modular hydropower units that can be easily placed in existing water-conveyance infrastructure to generate electric power and revenue. However, recognizing that that water districts and other entities with thousands of miles of canals and channels have the potential to host far more hydropower units than they could purchase outright, Emrgy has launched a new partnership model in which districts can host Emrgy-owned hydropower arrays for free while sharing in the revenue from the power generated. In our cover interview, Emrgy Founder and CEO Emily Morris tells us more about this exciting and promising initiative.

Next, we speak with Paul Schweiger, the vice president and manager of the dams and hydraulics group at engineering firm Gannett Fleming, about the company’s expertise in security assessments; risk analysis workshops; civil, geotechnical, structural, hydraulic, mechanical, electrical, and environmental engineering; and other aspects of dam engineering.

NLine Energy captures untapped hydropower energy by identifying points in existing water conveyance infrastructure where hydroelectric turbines can be installed. We speak with CEO and Chairman Matt Swindle about how NLine can help municipal water and irrigation agencies across the country figure out whether their systems might have the potential to generate green energy and revenue.

Lemke Industrial Machine, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2023, is a major supplier of dam gate hoists
as well as other gate and bridge technology. In our interview, President Dan Rice and Plant Manager Mark Gehring tell us about the company’s services and discuss industry trends.

Gilkes is a UK-based company that has been manufacturing hydropower equipment for over 165 years, specializing in small hydro. We speak with Head of Sales for Hydro Andy Eaton about the company’s work around the world and in the United States.

Division Manager Bill Dimopoulos tells us more about Canada-based heavy equipment company Atlas Polar’s waterways systems, including its Stop Log Lifter, Hydrorake, Hydrobrush, and Polar Racks systems.

Oregon-based nonprofit Grid Forward is working to modernize and strengthen the electrical grid as states across the nation push for ambitious decarbonization goals. Executive Director Bryce Yonker tells us about how hydropower and pumped storage can play an important role in moving those goals forward.

Hydropower has great potential for expansion in the coming years, both because there are so many untapped opportunities to harvest power in existing systems and because it promises to play a significant role in the energy transition that is already underway. I hope you enjoy learning about these topics in this month’s magazine. H

Kris Polly is the editor-in-chief of Hydro Leader magazine and the president and CEO of Water Strategies LLC, a government relations firm he began in February 2009 for the purpose of representing and guiding water, power, and agricultural entities in their dealings with Congress, the Bureau of Reclamation, and other federal government agencies. He may be contacted at kris.polly@waterstrategies.com.