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Water Industries

Hydropower & Hydraulic Structures

Where water moves there’s energy that can be harvested. Black & Veatch should know. Offering single-source expertise and project life-cycle solutions, we have worked on more than 500 projects and more than 60,000 megawatts in hydropower design worldwide.

Single-source hydropower services aligned across project lifecycle

Owners in the power sector face a host of challenges: capital budget constraints, limited resources, seasonal construction schedules and aging infrastructure concerns.

Black & Veatch is a leading engineering, consulting and construction company that understands these complex issues and can help to simplify them.

Black & Veatch is a global leader in water, energy and telecommunications, and hydropower is at their intersection. Our hydropower experience encompasses more than 500 projects worldwide and totals more than 64,000 megawatts, from conduit plants with installed capacities of less than 1 MW to plants with up to 6,300 MW of installed capacity.

At Black & Veatch, we listen to you, our clients, and we share your goals and drivers. We offer a comprehensive suite of services that align with the lifecycle of a project. Our single-source solutions allow our clients to focus on their businesses and simplify an otherwise complex issue.

We help you to get the best project for your infrastructure investment.

Black & Veatch’s hydropower and hydraulic structures services include:

  • Feasibility Studies
  • Facility Assessments
  • Due Diligence Support
  • Environmental Studies
  • Engineering Services- Rehab and New Hydro          
  • Hydrology and Hydraulic Structures
  • Generator Fitness for Service and Uprate Studies
  • Planning, Design and Construction
  • Construction Management
  • Startup and Commissioning
  • Operations & Maintenance
  • SCADA, Automation and Controls

 

Hydropower has a significant quantity of critical assets having long life cycles. Our team works to identify operational risks through equipment condition and consequence assessments, and then develops short- and long-term risk mitigation strategies, including operational adjustments and capital improvement plans.

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This community within our team supports conventional hydroelectric projects that are typically greater than 5 MW in installed capacity and is also responsible for rehabilitation and modernization of hydroelectric generating units and associated balance-of-plant auxiliary equipment. 

Our approach in hydraulic structures is to assist our clients with operational reliability and systems operating in harmony. These services include engineering of spillways, intakes, outlet works, flumes, canals and sluiceways.

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Within this team, we support any project where pump/turbines or large pumps are involved. Our team has provided global pumped storage-related hydroelectric services for more than 25 years and brings a deep understanding of all aspects of pumped storage hydroelectric plants. In addition, this team supports projects such as underground CSO pumping plants.

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Energy recovery at water and wastewater treatment plants has seen a surge in recent years. In the small hydro plant space, our team is focused on technology of hydroelectric turbines installed in parallel to pressure reducing stations and micro turbines installed at plant discharge points. Our team also encompasses small hydro projects added to existing dams that qualify projects as renewable energy sources in California and other states.

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Black & Veatch supports the continuing trend in the hydro industry to upgrade electrical, control and SCADA systems. Many existing plant systems are decades old and result in inefficient plant operation. A core group of electrical and control engineers provide value-added solutions for our clients. 

Many of our clients, especially those in the Northwest U.S., are faced with requirements to improve anadromous fish passage, both upstream and downstream from dams and hydropower facilities. Black & Veatch has provided a variety of solutions including screening, fish ladders, and most recently, floating surface collectors. Services are provided using teaming arrangements with firms that specialized in biologic and hydraulic issues related to fish passage.

Hydropower operational licenses are granted by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for periods of 30 years or longer, after which the project owner needs to relicense the project. This is a process that takes several years. And during the process, FERC and state environmental and regulatory agencies frequently seek to impose new obligations on the project to meet current technical standards, provide increased environmental mitigation and satisfy requirements for community safety needs. Black & Veatch supports clients through this process.

Significant attention has been given by regulatory agencies and project owners on the condition of gates and penstocks, which in addition to aging, also experience corrosion and other mechanical stresses that could hamper their ability to operate safely under challenging conditions, including flooding or seismic events. To help with these challenges, Black & Veatch focuses its Hydropower & Hydraulic Structures expertise for these critical project components.

The Black & Veatch team dedicated here is focused on managing and performing the critical startup and commissioning of hydropower facilities and large pumping plants.

This Black & Veatch team provides technical design support, manufacturer interface and industry knowledge to our clients regarding large valves used in the hydropower industry.

We centralize the Black & Veatch knowledge and resources available to perform hydrology studies and to develop and study hydraulics for Hydropower & Hydraulic Structures.

HydroVision TV Interview

with B&V’s Carlos Araoz

 

In this HydroVision TV video, Carlos Araoz, Black & Veatch Vice President, discusses the diverse makeup of Black & Veatch’s Hydropower & Hydraulic Structures team, its areas of focus and the value it brings to clients worldwide.

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