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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hydro Generator Expertise
Black & Veatch has assembled a staff with decades of experience and expertise in the fundamental design and care of hydroelectric generators.
Dams, Levees and Reservoirs
Whether it’s for drinking, irrigation, flood control, recreation or hydropower, water is always the most important component.
Modular Hydropower System
The hydropower-in-a-box solution features a modular design, a unique foundation approach and readily available turbine generator technology.
FERC Hydropower Licensing Project
Black & Veatch’s FERC hydropower project licensing team provides the regulatory, environmental and engineering expertise.
Hydropower Facility License Planning
Our LSA process has proven to be highly effective in organizing a successful FERC relicensing effort.
Hydropower & Hydraulic Structures
We are a global leader in both energy and water facilities, and clients worldwide have looked to us for hydropower solutions for more than 40 years.
Spillway and Outlet Works Design
For a dam to safely serve its intended purposes, each component must operate harmoniously with the entire reservoir and watershed system.
Small & Micro Hydropower
Achieve higher operating efficiencies, meet your sustainability objectives, reduce your carbon footprint, and maintain system reliability.
Hydropower Asset Management
We focus on key tenets of effective asset management programs and assist hydropower organizations with solutions to their diverse needs.
Hydropower Asset Management:
The Five Core Components of Organizational Resilience, Reliability and Performance
Hydropower producers make economic choices constantly to maintain the reliability and safety of their assets while trying to operate efficiently and meet regulations. It’s not easy. It’s also never-ending. Facilities age, rules change, economics evolve. Asset Management, in capital letter terms, is an approach to making all those decisions deliberate, purposeful, and comprehensive.
Hydropower Strategic Alliances:
How Producers Can Benefit
For hydropower producers, it’s a legitimate consideration. They have difficult decisions to make about where to invest in their assets. On the one hand, they need to invest in facility and equipment upgrades and unit availability and reliability. On the other, variable capital costs, rising operations and maintenance costs, and permit and licensing requirements are concerns. Tackling these and other challenges, producers can benefit from an alliance with a strategic partner.
Revising Hydropower Project Boundaries to Streamline Relicensing
Hydropower projects must be licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), a process that can be time consuming and costly without the appropriate expertise and guidance. For facilities in complicated geographic locations, relicensing can present even more challenges. Innovative solutions such as revising project boundaries can streamline the process, while still ensuring compliance.
Harnessing Asia's Potential to Generate Power from Water
A common misconception is that hydropower is limited to schemes that include large-scale dam developments. In reality, small- and mid-scale run-of-river projects can be successfully developed with lower capital start-up costs. By connecting remote areas to the grid, these projects can deliver additional social-economic benefits for rural communities. Another application would be mini hydro plants installed within traditional water treatment facilities.