Voith Highlights Innovation in Small Hydro and Environmentally-Friendly Technologies at HydroVision International 2014
The StreamDiver is Voith’s new modular, run-of-river small hydro turbine capable of producing up to 800 kilowatts of power on small streams, canals, and other low head water infrastructure previously not utilized for hydro development. In addition to being low-impact, the StreamDiver features oil-free lubrication, furthering Voith’s commitment to environmental sustainability.
Last year, Congress gave strong, bipartisan approval to legislation designed to streamline the federal regulatory process for hydropower licensing, particularly for small hydro. The Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act removes some of the regulatory burdens currently facing small hydro development, and takes steps to create a two-year Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) licensing process for non-powered dams and closed loop pumped storage projects. Of the over 80,000 dams in the country, only 3% currently produce electricity.
Voith has been a leader in small hydro for some time. Earlier this year, Kaukauna Utilities’ Badger Hydro Plant was officially dedicated. The Badger Hydro Plant combines hydraulic capacity of the 105-year old “old” Badger plant and the 85-year old “new” Badger plant into a new single plant using two Kaplan turbines. The new plant will result in more capacity than the previous two plants combined.
In addition, Voith has worked extensively in Nashville and the surrounding area, through both the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and the Army Corps of Engineers. Last month, Voith was awarded the contract to rehabilitate the three units at the Army Corps’ Center Hill Dam Powerhouse in Lancaster, Tennessee. The rehabilitation will replace units that are over 60 years old, and will boost the power output at the facility. Center Hill’s rehabilitation is part a $1 billion, 20-year plan by the Army Corps of Engineers to upgrade its facilities in the Nashville District.
Center Hill will use Voith’s auto-venting Aerating Runner technology, which helps to improve dissolved oxygen content downriver from a hydropower facility while ensuring minimal efficiency loss. Dissolved oxygen content is a frequent challenge at hydropower facilities, particularly those in the southeastern United States. The auto-venting Aerating Runner has been constantly improved since it was first introduced at TVA’s Norris Dam more than 20 years ago, and continues Voith’s leadership in sustainable hydropower solutions.
“When we expand clean and efficient hydropower production, we also create good-paying jobs across the United States, including right here in Tennessee,” Frank continues. “Hydropower is truly a win-win for the country.”
HydroVision attendees are encouraged to visit Voith’s booth No. 700 at the conference to learn more about these technologies.
About the Company
Voith sets standards in the markets energy, oil & gas, paper, raw materials and transportation & automotive. Founded in 1867, Voith employs more than 43,000 people, generates € 5.7 billion in sales, operates in about 50 countries around the world and is today one of the biggest family-owned companies in Europe.
The Importance of Hydropower
Hydropower is the largest, oldest and also most reliable form of renewable energy generation. Worldwide it makes an indispensable contribution to stable power supplies and hence to economic and social development – both in industrial countries and in emerging markets. At the same time, hydropower significantly contributes to climate-protecting energy genera-tion. Voith has been a leading supplier of this technology since the early beginning, and continuously develops it further.
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