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  1. Kevin Kircher: Graduating Researcher of the Hydro Research Foundation

    Editor's Note: This is the most recent  in a series of profiles  provided by the Hydro Research Foundation that highlight potential future members of the hydroelectric power industry and their accomplishments. The Hydro Research Foundation is actively supporting graduate students to conduct research related to conventional and pumped storage hydropower. These students are funded through the Department of Energy’s Water Power Program and industry partners through a three-year grant. Biography Kevin Kircher is a Ph.D. student in mechanical engineering at Cornell University. He is interested in control and estimation problems related to the reliable integration of stochastic renewables into power systems. In past work, he developed energy efficiency strategies for complex building types. He has also contributed to water and energy projects in Honduras and Nicaragua through Engineers for a Sustainable World. Kircher is completing his research in January with the support of Dr. Max Zhang and has been working with Erin Foraker at the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and Jay Mearns with Pacific Gas & Electric. The title of his research is Coupling Hydropower, PV and Flexible Loads in a Carbon Free Microgrid . Per his research, the State of Hawaii currently imports 85% of its food and relies on fossil fuels for 95% of its energy. Most of these fuels are imported, making Hawaiian electricity costs (about $0.42/kWh) the most expensive in the nation. These facts, coupled with the state’s excellent water and solar resources, make sustainable energy and agriculture projects in Hawaii extremely attractive. The state's regulatory environment, however, often makes grid-connected renewable projects politically infeasible: the utilities place hard caps on the amount of distributed generation capacity allowable in their networks. Many communities have already reached these caps. Additionally, much arable land is located far from existing electrical distribution infrastructure, making the cost of interconnection significant. Since agricultural activities such as irrigation, refrigeration and processing are often energy-intensive, the lack of affordable access to electricity is a challenge. In this work, the research team will extend the initial site assessment to design a microgrid including a lower reservoir and a pumped-storage system, a PV array, and direct control of flexible electric loads. This design will include control algorithms to optimally balance seasonal variations in water flow rates; seasonal, diurnal and real-time fluctuations in PV output; and the time-varying costs and constraints of a diverse portfolio of flexible loads. Estimation and prediction algorithms will be required in order to anticipate changes in resource availability and in electricity demand. This work will be conducted in collaboration with Hawaiian partners, who have taken steps toward implementing such a system. The hope is that the development of this microgrid will highlight the potential of small-scale hydropower and pumped storage to ‘firm up’ the less reliable (but more scalable) renewables. Kevin is actively seeking work in the hydropower industry. To connect with Kevin or learn more about the Research Awards Program please email info@hydrofoundation.org or visit the website www.hydrofoundation.org

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Thu, 12 Jan 2017

  2. HydroVision International 2016 keynote video is available

    Before 2016 ends, relive the highlights from the largest hydro event in the world. A video of the complete opening keynote session of HydroVision International 2016 is now available on Hydro TV.  

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Mon, 12 Dec 2016

  3. Canadian renewable energy report released prior to First Ministers’ Meeting

    The Canadian Council on Renewable Electricity (CCRE) today released its report, “Canada’s Advantage: A Vision for Renewable Electricity in Canada,” which identifies renewable electricity resources that will cut carbon pollution as Canada shifts from fossil fuels to clean energy.  

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Fri, 9 Dec 2016

  4. India’s THDC utility company has a new chairman and managing director

    Dhirendra Veer Singh has been named chairman and managing director (CMD) of THDC India Ltd. (THDCIL) and will serve in that role until April 2021, according to a press release from the company.  

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Tue, 6 Dec 2016

  1. Uncertainty on whether La Nina will replenish the hydropower industry for the SADC

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 31 Aug 2016

  2. Hydropower industry needs employees

    A study commissioned by the National Hydropower Association in 2009 reported, if ideal circumstances are present, as many as 700,000 new jobs could be created in the U.S. by 2025 through the construction of new hydropower capacity.  

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Fri, 18 Mar 2016

  3. Tribute to long-time hydropower industry specialist Julie Keil

    Julie A. Keil, J.D., a long-time hydropower industry specialist, passed away Nov. 24.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Tue, 1 Dec 2015

  4. George A. Thomson elected Fellow by Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers

    Late last month, George A. (Sandy) Thomson, owner and chairman of the Board of Thomson-Gordon Group, the parent of Ontario, Canada-based Thordon Bearings Inc., was elected a Fellow by the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME).  

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Thu, 10 Nov 2016

  5. Seth Gregg: Graduating Researcher of the Hydro Research Foundation

    Seth Gregg has just completed a Masters in Science in Mechanical Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines and is interested in real world applications of machine learning and statistics to intelligent energy systems, as well as prognostics and health management.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Wed, 19 Oct 2016

  6. Early bird registration is open for HydroVision International 2017, set for June in Denver, Colo.

    HydroVision International 2017 takes place June 27-30 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colo., USA, and it is a must-attend event for all those working in the hydroelectric power sector.  

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Fri, 11 Nov 2016

  7. 16.5-MW Green Lake hydropower project offline for repairs

    The 16.5-MW Green Lake Hydro plant owned and operated by the City and Borough of Sitka, Alaska, was taken offline Oct. 17 after a hydraulic ram failed.  

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Fri, 21 Oct 2016

  8. NHA accepting nominations for Outstanding Stewards of America's Waters awards

    The National Hydropower Association is now accepting applications for the 2017 Outstanding Stewards of America's Waters awards program.

    Online Articles

    Online Articles

    Tue, 18 Oct 2016

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