Skip to main content
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.

Hydropower Solutions

We’ve produced results on nearly 500 projects and more than 50,000 megawatts in hydropower design. A track record like that can only be achieved by meeting the toughest budgets under the tightest schedules. That formula helps us meet the goal we share with all clients – maximum return on their infrastructure investment.

We’re committed to finding clean, green power alternatives. Our expertise ranges from studies and valuations to optimizing existing operations. We handle engineering and construction services for small hydropower facilities up to conventional, large hydropower plants. In addition, we perform all of the engineering, environmental and regulatory services required for relicensing hydropower facilities.

We offer a comprehensive suite of services that align with the life cycle of a project. Our single-source solutions allow our clients to focus on their businesses and simplify an otherwise complex issue. Our services include permitting and licensing, conceptual through detailed design, and program and construction management. We also provide asset management as well as startup and commissioning services.

Hydropower and hydraulic structures are among our core specialties, as Black & Veatch is a global leader in both energy and water facilities. In addition to entering strategic alliances with hydropower producers across the United States, we offer comprehensive capabilities in the following key service areas: 

  • Pumped Storage Hydropower
  • Modular Hydropower System
  • Power Generation
  • Plant Automation, Controls and Telecommunications
  • Hydrology and Hydraulics
  • Fisheries Engineering
  • Gates and Penstocks
  • Dams, Tunnels and Geotechnical
  • FERC Hydropower Licensing Project
  • Hydropower Facility License Planning
Pumped Storage and Large Pumping Facilities

Pumped Storage and Large Pumping Facilities

Black & Veatch has provided global pumped storage-related hydroelectric engineering services for more than 25 years. With our leadership in the development of renewable energy projects, we are uniquely positioned and qualified to support the integration of pumped storage in a client’s overall power portfolio. We bring significant experience in:

  • Understanding today’s pump turbine equipment market and procurement approach
  • Transient analysis of the water conductor systems and hydraulic design of inlet/outlet structures
  • Geotechnical and dam engineering for the powerhouse and upper and lower reservoirs
  • Tunnel and underground structure engineering
  • Powerhouse design using 3D CADD to optimize space utilization in the powerhouse
  • Grid integration and interconnection

Gordon Butte Pumped Storage Hydro Project

Renewable energy sources are key to fueling our power grid. However, renewable sources such as solar and wind can be variable, and keeping the power supply in balance with demand is pivotal to keeping the electric grid stable and reliable.

With Absaroka Energy LLC in Montana, Black & Veatch is helping to plan a pumped storage scheme that will store and deliver renewable energy while balancing out the ebbs and flows of supply and demand. It’s a closed loop system that works like a rechargeable water battery, and its benefits can be significant.


Deploying Large-Scale Energy Storage in California’s Renewable Energy Portfolio

California is a world leader in renewable energy. The state already sources nearly one-third of its power from renewables, mainly solar and wind. With recent legislation in place, renewable energy will increase to 60 percent or more by 2030. In tandem with renewable energy goals, the state is striving for 100 percent clean energy by 2045 to fight global warming.

The central purpose of this paper is to articulate the opportunities and challenges for large-scale energy storage in the evolving California grid. In particular, this paper examines the need for a decisive push to deploy pumped energy storage. The lead times for such projects are long. Having projects operationally starting in the mid 2020s requires clearer policy and market signals today.

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.

We seek partners in innovation. Let's start the conversation