How to be Involved in NHA

Committees and Councils of the National Hydropower Association

The Committees and Councils of NHA serve as the association's vehicle for industry engagement. Employees of NHA member organizations can participate in any of these forums. 

About Committees: 
Provide a forum to bring the industry together to share information, develop consensus on solutions, report to and make recommendations to advise the Board, and provide expertise to staff.

About Councils: Tend to focus on a particular market segment, sharing technical insights and discussing policy solutions on issues with a special focus and/or crossover issues.

It's easy to sign up to receive alerts and meeting notices for any of these committees or councils. Simply CLICK HERE to log on to the NHA Member Portal's Committees and Councils page and follow the instructions on the page.  

NHA's Committees and Councils:
<20 MW Club Roundtable

OVERVIEW: The <20 MW Club is a forum within NHA for owners of small hydropower assets to come together, discuss common challenges, and work toward solutions. For example, the group may choose to discuss how to navigate the insurance issues, get ahead of FERC’s financial assurance proposal, or create real-world programs, like voluntary operator exchanges.  

Any employee of an NHA member organization that is an asset owner operating existing hydropower facilities that are relatively small (under 20 MWs or so) is encouraged to participate in this Roundtable.  

Co-Chairs: Sarah Hill-Nelson, The Bowersock Mills and Power Company and Zach Moureau, Kaukauna Utilities
Supporting NHA Staff: Chris Hayes

Chief Dam Safety Engineer (CDSE) Roundtable

OVERVIEW: The CDSE Roundtable is a program dedicated to Chief Dam Safety Engineers and their teams, focusing on dam safety program management, new technologies, and regulatory compliance. The group meets twice a quarter to discuss hot topics in the industry and collaborate on solutions. 

Any employee of an NHA member organization involved in Dam Safety that is an asset owner operating existing hydropower facilities is encouraged to participate in this forum.  

Co-Chairs: Seth Green, Southern Company / Vice Chair: Jillian Lawrence, Hull Street, LLC
Supporting NHA Staff: Chris Hayes 

Future Leaders of Waterpower (FLOW)
OVERVIEW: FLOW stands for Future Leaders of Waterpower, NHA’s newest ad-hoc networking/career development group. The ultimate goal of FLOW is to attract and support talented, diverse professionals by creating a welcoming and safe environment and by providing a clear pathway for professional growth. Learn more by visiting the FLOW website here.
This career development group's purpose is to increase the participation of young professionals, professionals new to the water power industry, women, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, veterans, and people with disabilities in the water power industry by providing clear pathways for career growth and networking opportunities.

FLOW participants will have the opportunity to help create content, identify speakers, and shape agendas for NHA events. They’ll also get a chance to meet and collaborate with the water power industry’s current thought leaders.
FLOW will organize ahead of NHA events to host meet-ups, happy hours, and dinners to facilitate networking and making friends within the water power industry. This group will plan career development webinars, knowledge-sharing sessions, hydro 101 workshops, and other activities to cultivate the next generation of industry leaders. 

FLOW is open to any individual who is currently or interested in working in water power; NHA membership is not required. 
Chair: Camille Ellsworth, rPlus Hydro
Vice Chair / Social Chair: Norbert Woodhams, Worthington Products and Katie Raine, HDR
Supporting NHA Staff: Kelly Rogers

Hydropower Technical Community & Operational Excellence Program
OVERVIEW: The Hydropower Technical Community (HTC) offers employees of NHA member companies a way for individuals who are focused on technical and operational aspects to gather as a community to exchange ideas, learn from one another, and strive for excellence in their work. 

HTC brings together individuals from operation and maintenance, dam safety, and operational excellence to exchange and learn from each other about technical offerings, including:
  • Monthly virtual “lunch and learns” on specific operational or technical topics 
  • Specific O&M, dam safety, and technical papers sessions at NHA's national and regional events
  • Opportunities to tour hydroelectric projects around the U.S. 
  • Training courses for hydro professionals  
Operational Excellence (OpEx) – The OpEx program is an NHA member-only online event reporting system that receives, distributes, archives, and catalogs operating experiences (both technical and environmemtal) and resulting best practices and lessons learned. OpEx 2.0 will be launching in Q2 2023 and is the only event reporting program and database available to the hydropower industry.  

FERC Liaison – The HTC serves as a conduit for industry input and advocacy on proposals and activities originating at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Division of Dam Safety and Inspections (D2SI).

Chair: Phil Cantarinha, KGS Group
Vice Chair: Travis Hart, Ameren Missouri
  • Dam Safety Chair: Seth Green, Southern Company / Vice Chair: Jillian Lawrence, Hull Street, LLC
  • O&M Chair: Scott Romero, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers / Vice Chair: Craig Bourassa, Avista Utilities
  • Operational Excellence  Chair: Carl Brewster, WEST USA, Inc. Water Energy Systems & Tests / Vice Chair: Scott Korab, Ballard Marine Construction
Advisors:  Daniel Langlois, GE Renewable Energy / Ellen Faulkner, Ayres Associates / Karl Parker, Yuba Water Agency / Raymond Chow, Duke Energy Corporation / Scott Klabunde, HydroPartners / Thomas Fitzgerald, Schnabel Engineering

Supporting NHA Staff: Chris Hayes

Legislative Affairs
OVERVIEW: NHA’s Legislative Affairs committee advocates on behalf of the water power sectors (hydropower, marine energy, and pumped storage) on important policy issues advancing and protecting their interests to Congress and the Administration. The committee also tracks, analyzes and responds to critical and emerging issues including tax reform, appropriations funding, and licensing reform for the waterpower industry.  

With real-time information, NHA’s Legislative Affairs Committee
 keeps you abreats of important policy developments in Washington and develops strategies to ensure that hydropower is positively recognized and incorporated in energy policies proposed by federal policymakers. 

Chair: Clark Mather, Northwest RiverPartners
Vice Chairs: Duff Mitchell, Juneau Hydropower Inc. and Jim Vandeputte, Eagle Creek Renewable Energy
Supporting NHA Staff: Matthew Allen and Brittney May

Marine Energy Council

The National Hydropower Association’s Marine Energy Council (MEC) is the U.S. national trade group dedicated to promoting technologies and related services to harness clean, renewable power from significant untapped marine energy resources. Established in 2015, the MEC works with private sector companies, academia, and government partners to encourage the commercialization of marine energy technologies and raise awareness of the industry’s considerable potential to create good paying jobs and secure an affordable, reliable, and environmentally friendly energy future. 

The MEC is actively engaged with federal policymakers to increase R&D support, reduce market barriers, and create financial incentives for technology deployment. It also develops a Commercialization Strategy for Marine Energy setting new sector deployment targets of 50 MW by 2025, 500 MW by 2030 and 1 GW by 2035.

The MEC works with its members to inform future federal programs and competitive funding solicitations, lobby for appropriations and legislation in support of the sector, and serve as a clearinghouse of critical information. A broad and actively engaged membership is key to the MEC’s success.

Samantha Quinn, POET / John Ferland, ORPC / Brenda Langley, Oregon State University/Pacific Marine Energy Center
Vice Chair: Kristi Terrasa, C-Power

Supporting NHA Staff:  Kelly Rogers

The following Working Groups are open to all MEC participants – Contact Kelly Rogers at to sign up:
  • Marine Energy Priorities: Co-Leads: Jonathan Colby, Streamwise Development / Walter Schurtenberger, Hydrokinetic Energy Corp
  • Advocacy: Co-Leads: George Bonner, Coastal Studies Institute / Chris Lee, Tidal Energy Corp
Supporting NHA Staff: Kelly Rogers


OVERVIEW: The Markets Committee provides a conduit for information-sharing about wholesale electricity markets organized by various Regional Transmission Organizations (RTOs) and Independent System Operators (ISOs) throughout the United States. The committee participants give guidance to NHA staff for filing pleadings on various proposals from RTOs/ISOs, generic proceedings from the FERC, and targeted state programs.

Chair: Christopher Fry, New York Power Authority
Vice Chairs: JK Wang, Pacific Gas and Electric / Paul Dietz, Grant County PUD / Steven Lieberman, American Punicipal Power
Supporting NHA Staff: Michael Purdie
New Hydropower Development Roundtable

OVERVIEW: The New Hydropower Development Roundtable is specifically for hydropower developers, similar to the already existing NHA groups for Pumped Storage and Marine Energy. For example, the group may choose to discuss issues ranging from USACE 408 permit process, construction start extensions, financing/off-take options, and/or inter-connection issues.  

Any employee of an NHA member organization that is a hydropower developer and/or asset owner seeking to add new generation to existing civil infrastructure (non-powered dams), install incremental new generation at existing structures (including hydropower, conduits, and water supply systems), and/or build new greenfield development are encouraged to participate.  

Co-Chairs: Ushakar Jha, Rye Development, and Doug Spaulding, Nelson Energy
Supporting NHA Staff: Connor Nelson


Operation & Maintenance Roundtable

OVERVIEW: The Operation & Maintenance Roundtable is dedicated to Plant, Operations, Engineering, and Asset Managers/Directors and their teams, with a focus on maintaining reliability, optimal fleet performance, and keeping up to date with the latest practices, technologies, and regulations.

Any employee of an NHA member organization involved in operations, maintenance, and asset management that is an asset owner operating existing hydropower facilities is encouraged to participate in this forum.  

Co-Chairs: Scott Romero, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers / Vice Chair: Craig Bourassa, Avista Utilities
Supporting NHA Staff: Chris Hayes 

Public Affairs Committee

The NHA Public Affairs Committee develops and implements communications strategies to promote waterpower and support the industry’s objectives and implements communication strategies to promote waterpower and support the industry's objectives. The committee also serves as a learning hub for hydropower industry communications professionals to share the latest in communications strategy, tactics and messaging. 

Committee members and leadership meet once a month to share updates on their respective organizations’ communications successes and challenges and to provide counsel around NHA’s public affairs goals. Once a quarter, the committee hosts a “Waterpower Communicator’s Forum,” where a wide range of speakers provide expert insight on waterpower and clean energy communications.
NHA membership is required to participate in the monthly Public Affairs Committee meetings. The quarterly forums are open to anyone – NHA membership not required.

Chair: Rachel Hansen, Chelan County PUD
Vice Chairs: Brandy Donaldson, Constellation and Leonard Greene, FirstLight Power
Supporting NHA Staff: Copeland Tucker and Kelly Rogers

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 Council maintains a pumped stprage guidebook for state and federal policymakers, grid operators, energy regulator, and oother stakeholders.

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: Michael Manwaring, Stantec
Vice Chairs: Brennan Smith, HDR / Kamal Gautam, rPlus Hydro, LLP
Supporting NHA Staff: Barbara Tyran
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.

The Committee negotiates license reform with NGOs, states, and tribes, represents hydropower in litigation over Clean Water Act Section 401, and influences policies, actions, and rulemakings at FERC, Fish and Wildlife, and NOAA Fisheries. 

 Jenna Mandell-Rice, Van Ness
Vice Chairs: Elizabeth McCormick, Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP / Courtenay O'Mara, Southern Company
Supporting NHA Staff: Michael Purdie

Senior Leaders Roundtable

OVERVIEW: The Senior Leaders Roundtable is dedicated to Hydropower Executives including Directors, Vice Presidents, and Chief Technical, Operations, and Executive Officers, with focus areas of strategic risk and enterprise management, safety, environment, and long-term investment planning.

Any employee of an NHA member organization involved at the executive level at an asset owner operating existing hydropower facilities is encouraged to participate in this forum.  

Co-Chairs: Suzanne Biddle, TVA, and Jeremy Clotfelter, Northwestern Energy
Supporting NHA Staff: Chris Hayes 


Technology Developers Roundtable

OVERVIEW: The Technology Developers Roundtable is a dedicated forum within NHA for member organizations to come together, discuss common challenges, and work toward solutions in the water power technology space. For example, the group may choose to discuss how to navigate government grants, secure private financing, and/or raise awareness of the innovation to the hydropower industry.  

Dedicated to small hydro and the latest updates in the technology development space for 
small hydro.  

Any employee of an NHA member organization that is a technology product developer, such as an equipment manufacturer, technology service provider, or others engaged in deploying innovative new hydropower solutions are encouraged to participate.  

Co-Chairs: Tom Cuthbert, Emrgy, and Kate Stirr, Natel Energy 
Supporting NHA Staff: Connor Nelson

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 laboratories, government agencies, academia, and other entities in the waterpower sector and share the information with the 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 strong waterpower programs within the U.S. Department of Energy and other agencies. 
Chair:  Curtis Jawdy, Tennessee Valley Authority
Vice Chairs: Erin Foraker, Bureau of Reclamation, Nell Burns, Bonneville Power Administration, and Tom Cuthbert, Emrgy
Supporting NHA StaffChris Hayes

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: Cesare Gremese, American Hydro Corporation, and Joseph Kessler, New York Power Authority
Supporting NHA Staff: Malcolm Woolf