DENVER, July 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- "The future of American hydropower is bright," declared Voith Hydro President and CEO Kevin Frank at the onset of HydroVision International 2013, the world's largest hydropower conference taking place this week at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. The conference is timely as legislation to improve the hydropower licensing process is currently making its way through the U.S. Senate. Voith also used the conference to highlight some of its own accomplishments from the previous year, from celebrating 135 years of American manufacturing at its facility in York, PA to the inclusion of a Voith-supplied project in President Obama's Climate Action Plan.
"As HydroVision puts on clear display, the U.S. hydropower industry finds itself in a strong position," said Frank. "While we have seen hydropower's legislative and regulatory prospects improve, there is still work to be done to get this legislation across the finish line. Signing these proposals into law will lead to cleaner, job-producing, renewable and environmentally-friendly hydropower across the United States."
Over the last several years, members of Congress from Colorado have helped lead the legislative effort to improve and streamline the hydropower licensing process, particularly for small and conduit hydropower projects. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) is the lead co-sponsor of the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act, which has already unanimously passed the House. Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO) is the sponsor of the The Bureau of Reclamation Small Conduit Hydropower and Rural Jobs Act , which passed the House by an overwhelming bipartisan margin earlier this year.
These bills have also passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and are awaiting a vote in the full Senate. The Senate companion to the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act is co-sponsored by both Sens. Mark Udall (D-CO) and Michael Bennet (D-CO). Voith joined other companies and organizations in a letter urging Senate leadership to quickly bring hydropower legislation up for a vote.Also on the regulatory front, a Voith-supplied project in Missouri River Energy Services' Red Rock Hydroelectric Project was included in President Obama's recently-released Climate Action Plan. The project will be added to the Infrastructure Permitting Dashboard, designed to prioritize and expedite vital projects across the U.S., which will have a positive effect on hydropower licensing across various federal agencies. Other highlights for Voith Hydro from the previous year include:
- In September, Voith Hydro celebrated 135 years of American hydropower manufacturing at its facility in York.
- Earlier this year, Voith shipped stators and distributors to the Cannelton Hydroelectric Plant, one of four projects being undertaken by American Municipal Power, Inc. on the Ohio River and supplied by Voith Hydro.
- Later this year, Voith will ship Aerating Francis Runners to Duke Energy's Oxford and Rhodhiss plants on the Catawba River in North Carolina. The aerating runners are a key feature of Voith's environmentally-friendly portfolio, ensuring that water maintains necessary oxygen levels near a hydropower facility.