HydroVision International sets new attendance record

For the second consecutive year, the number of people attending HydroVision International reached an all-time high as hydropower professionals throughout the world gathered in Sacramento, Calif., to promote the use of sustainable hydropower.

HydroVision International 2011, held July 18-22 at the Sacramento Convention Center, drew 3,451 attendees, up from 3,000 in 2010. It was the largest attendance in the history of HydroVision.

Hydropower professionals representing 44 countries attended HydroVision International 2011, which featured more than 450 speakers and 311 exhibitors, up from 278 exhibitors in 2010.

"This is really impressive," said Roger Ballentine, president of Green Strategies Inc. and a Senior Fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. "There are a lot of people in Washington I wish could see this exhibit floor. This is a vibrant industry."

HydroVision International 2012 will be held July 17-20 in Louisville, Ky.

Already, 75 percent of the exhibition space booked for HydroVision 2011 has been rebooked for 2012.

More than 800 people attended the opening plenary session, which featured a roundtable discussion involving executives from the California Department of Water Resources, Pacific Gas & Electric Co., the Sacramento Municipal Utility District and SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers.

"California has 11- to- 12-percent of renewables and the potential to reach 20 percent by the end of this year," said James Tracy, chief financial officer of SMUD. "Now the goal is 33 percent, which is a big leap.

"We have to start looking at pumped storage hydro because of regulations," Tracy said.

California DWR Director Mark Cowin said the state's power future lies in more than just new builds.

"We must consider integration, retrofits and some new development," Cowin said.

SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers, a joint venture between BMW and SGL Carbon, recently built a manufacturing plant near Moses Lake to take advantage of the region’s abundant supply of low-cost hydropower. The plant illustrates the value of hydropower as a tool to create a sustainable business and jobs. The plant manufactures carbon fiber materials for use in BMW's line of electric and battery vehicles.

"Building the plant near a hydro plant was a condition we had in place," said Joerg Pohlman, managing director of SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers GmbH & Co. "We wanted a reliable, long-term supply of power and competitive rates."

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