About NHA Committees

Committees and Councils of the National Hydropower Association
From regulatory affairs to operational excellence, NHA hosts a several standing committees and councils designed to put our members at the forefront of shaping the focus and direction of our industry. Without question, each of NHA successes can be tied directly to the input and influence of our standing committees and councils. 
CEO Council

OVERVIEW: NHA’s CEO Council creates a forum in which high-level hydropower executives can leverage their resources and talents to preserve and strengthen the existing system, while furthering the industry’s growth objectives.  The CEO council serves as a forum to bring hydropower executives together to share information about industry challenges and solutions.  Its members also enhance the voice of NHA and the hydro industry as a whole within Congress and the Administration. 

The CEO Council serves as a strategic advisor to the NHA Board and acts as a key project and initiative leader on projects that strengthen NHA’s advocacy work and the representation of the industry.  On its initiatives, the Council coordinates closely with NHA’s staff, committees, and other councils. Membership is limited to Leadership Member organizations.

Co-Chairs: Jeanne Hilsinger, Mavel and John Shue, FirstLight Power Resources
Supporting NHA Staff: Linda Church Ciocci
Hydraulic Power Committee & Operational Excellence Program
OVERVIEW: The Hydraulic Power Committee (HPC) provides a confidential and private setting for the hydropower industry to exchange critical information related to the technical and environmental aspects of operating hydroelectric projects.

  • HPC Forums – The HPC provides ongoing opportunities for benchmarking and the exchange of information within the hydropower industry through two unique forums: 
    • Discussion Board:  A web-based, real-time, collaboration tool that allows HPC members to securely discuss operations & maintenance, dam safety, and other issues. 
    • Meetings:  The HPC hosts two in-person meetings a year to discuss emerging trends and hot topics, and to provide networking opportunities – 1) NHA’s Waterpower Week in Washington, D.C., and 2) the HPC Fall Retreat. 
  • Operational Excellence (OpEx) – The OpEx program is an NHA member-only voluntary event reporting system that receives, distributes, archives, and catalogs operating experiences and resulting best practices and lessons learned.  OpEx launched a new website in 2014 – www.hydroexcellence.org – and is the only event reporting program and database available to the hydropower industry.  
  • FERC Liaison – The HPC serves as a conduit for industry input and advocacy on proposals and activities originating at FERC’s Division of Dam Safety and Inspections (D2SI) and Division of Hydropower Administration and Compliance (DHAC).  Recent interactions include:
    • Drafting Comments:  Owners Dam Safety Program (ODSP), Emergency Action Plans (EAP), and Chief Dam Safety Engineer (CDSE) annual statements. 
    • Issue Calls:  Minor License Deviations & Violations, Shoreline Management Plans (SMP).
  • Other – The HPC also serves as a liaison with other industry interests including USSD, ASDSO, EUCG, EPRI, and ASCE, among others
  • Chair: Richard Mickwee, Southern Company / Vice Chair: Eric Van Deuren, PG&E
    • Dam Safety Sub-Committee   Chair: Tom Fitzgerald, Schnabel
    • O&M Sub-Committee Co-Chairs: Lisa Martindale, Southern Company / Vice Chair: Jeremy Clotfelter, Northwestern Energy
    • Operational Excellence Chair: Jim Miller, Signal Energy Consultants, LLC
Supporting NHA Staff: Luciana Ciocci

Legislative Affairs
OVERVIEW: NHA’s Legislative Affairs committee tracks, analyzes and responds to critical and emerging issues on Capitol Hill and within the administration.  The committee develops strategies to ensure that hydropower is positively recognized and incorporated in energy policies proposed by federal policymakers. 
With real-time information, NHA’s Legislative Affairs Committee keeps you abreast of important policy developments in Washington and helps the industry protect their interests
Chair: Matt Miller, Pacific Gas & Electric Company
Vice Chair: Lori Pickford, The Ferguson Group
Supporting NHA Staff: Jeff Leahey
Public Affairs
OVERVIEW: The NHA Public Affairs Committee develops and implements communication strategies and tools that promote hydropower and support the industry’s policy objectives.  It utilizes media relations and the Internet to aggressively market the value of hydropower to key audiences and the general public.
Chair: Tim Brown, GE Renewable Energy
Vice Chair: Holly Karg, American Municipal Power
Supporting NHA Staff: LeRoy Coleman
Pumped Storage Development Council
OVERVIEW: NHA’s Pumped Storage Development Council was formed to address the emerging regulatory and business needs for new pumped storage development to support increasing renewable energy generation policies.  The committee is focused on both the regulatory and legislative issues and the business and commercial drivers that are leading the call for new pumped storage development.   The Pumped Storage Development Council keeps you abreast of important policy, technology and business developments in this fast changing area of new hydropower development.
Chair: Steve Lowe, Eagle Crest
Co-Vice Chairs: Brian Studenka, ITC
Supporting NHA Staff: Jeff Leahey and Dennis Cakert
Regulatory Affairs
OVERVIEW: NHA’s Regulatory Affairs Committee monitors, tracks and notifies Membership of critical issues that could impact the hydropower industry including, licensing and compliance regulations.  The Regulatory Affairs Committee membership, with the support of NHA staff, affects the resolution of regulatory issues to the balanced positive benefit of the hydropower industry.
Chair: John Clements, Van Ness Feldman
Vice Chairs: David Zayas, Idaho Power  
Supporting NHA Staff: Dennis Cakert
Small Hydro Council
OVERVIEW: NHA’s Small Hydro Council addresses barriers to the development of small projects with a particular focus on traditional hydro resources such as conventional hydro, development at non-powered dams, irrigation power, and conduit power. 
Through working groups focused on regulatory issues, dam safety and operational issues, R&D and new technology, and funding and finance, the Council develops strategies to facilitate development and expansion of small hydropower and works to implement those strategies.  On its initiatives, the Council will coordinate closely with NHA’s Marine Energy Council and with NHA’s Regulatory, Legislative, R&D, and Hydraulic Power Committees. 
With real-time information, NHA’s Small Hydro Council keeps you abreast of regulatory and legislative activities in Washington relative to small hydro and helps the industry protect its interests.
Chair:  Matthew Swindle, NLine         
Vice Chair: Ted Sorenson, Sorenson Engineering
Supporting NHA Staff: Dennis Cakert
Marine Energy Council

OVERVIEW: The National Hydropower Association’s Marine Energy Council (MEC) is the United States national trade group dedicated to promoting technologies to harness clean, renewable power from significant untapped wave, tidal, ocean current and riverine resources.  The council works with industry, academia and government partners to encourage the commercialization of marine energy technologies and raise awareness of their vast potential to created good paying jobs and secure an affordable, reliable and environmentally friendly energy future.  The MEC is actively engaged with federal policymakers to increase research and development support and reduce market barriers.  The MEC works with its members to inform future programs and competitive funding solicitations, lobby for appropriations and legislation in support of the sector and serve the industry as a clearinghouse of critical information.
Co-Chairs: Tim Oakes, Kleinschmidt Associates, Inc. / Jason Busch, Oregon Wave Energy Trust /
Reenst Lesemann, Columbia Power Technologies and Paul Gay, SMI, Inc.
Co-Vice Chairs:  Damian Kunko, SMI Inc., Tim Mundon, Oscilla Power and
      Gabriel Alsenas, Florida Atlantic University
Supporting NHA Staff:  Luciana Ciocci
Waterpower Innovation Council

OVERVIEW:     This Council is responsible for identifying industry needs and developing recommendations to promote focused technological and environmental research, development and demonstration (RD&D) that will serve to strengthen the waterpower industry.  It will track and evaluate major RD&D currently underway at national laboratory, government agencies, academia and other entities in the waterpower sector and share the information with industry.  The Council can help reduce duplication of effort and identify synergies of ongoing research.  The Council will work with other NHA Councils to reach out externally to advocate for external funding to maintain a strong waterpower programs within the U.S. Department of Energy and other agencies. 
Co-Chairs:  Jim Thrasher, American Electric Power / Gerry Russell, American Hydro
Supporting NHA Staff:  Luciana Ciocci

Schedule a Membership Tune-up Today!

Schedule a membership tune-up call, where we can look at your company’s staff subscriptions for all NHA Alerts and Operational Excellence. Through this process, we can expand your company’s network of information and leverage it throughout your organization. We will review membership benefits to make sure you are taking advantage of them, provide a briefing on NHA programs and initiatives and answer any questions you may have. Contact Diane Lear at diane@hydro.org to schedule a call soon.