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Waterpower XVI Conference in Spokane this week   


If you’re in downtown Spokane this week, you might notice attendees of the largest hydropower event in the country milling about the area. According to Hydro Review, the event organizer, there are expected to be 1,600 hydro experts from 40 countries in attendance at the nearly week-long conference.

I’m not exactly sure how you’d recognize them, so I suggest a little on-the-spot pop quiz. If they answer these three questions correctly, they just might be attendees of Waterpower XVI, the largest hydropower conference in the country.

Question 1
Hydro power is made from: a. water, b. wind, c. coal. If they answer anything other than ‘a. water,’ they are in big trouble.

Question 2
Avista’s electric resource mix includes how much hydro power? a. 15%, b. 55% or c. 100%. This one’s a little harder, but the correct answer is b. 55%, based on our 2008 figures.

Question 3
Utilities with hydro projects (dams and such) should be concerned with: a. environmental impacts, b. being classified as renewable energy, c. area recreation, d. new technology, or e. all of the above. OK, loaded question, of course, it’s all of the above and probably much more.

The conference brings together utilities, suppliers, consultants and regulators in the industry to share new ideas, technology, and approaches in hydropower. The conference focuses on hydro as the world's leading source of renewable energy. Avista is involved in the conference as the host-city sponsor, given our long history of hydropower innovation and leadership on many issues. It also doesn’t hurt that attendees can easily walk through Riverfront Park to see Avista’s hydro projects that directly power much of the surrounding area.

“It’s a great thing for Spokane to host a conference of this size that focuses on hydropower,” Steve Fry, Avista Hydro Projects Manager and a member of the Waterpower XVI Advisory committee, said. “It’s a real credit to Avista and the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau to get Waterpower here.”

I’m planning to live-tweet during some sessions. You can follow along at

For a complete program or more information about the conference, visit

Post by Dan Kolbet
Posted by  System Account  on  7/27/2009
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