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The Hub / Consultants & Engineers
  • Economic Insight Inc.: Portland-based Economic Insight, Inc. (EII) "specializes in economic analysis and litigation support related to energy markets." It boasts a slate of experts, headed by president Sam A. Van Vactor. At this site, you can read about the firm, its key consultants and publications. You can even sign up for a free two-week trial subscription to EII's Energy Market Report, a daily report on prices for pre-scheduled power transactions, and data on generation unit outages in the Western and Midwestern markets. There's also a list of some of EII's recent clients and info on its system support product, "a sophisticated computer system for data management and analysis."

  • Energysearch: This site has been posted by the Electric Power Research Institute, which bills it as "the premier Internet search engine for the energy industry"; a response to concerns of energy folks who were "often overwhelmed by their [conventional Internet] search results and frustrated at not getting the specific information they needed." Such a claim invites a challenge, of course. The search utility, faced with the reasonably arcane energy topic of the "Canadian Entitlement," did manage quickly to return a more or less relevant series of documents from the NW Power Planning Council, BPA, FERC, Tacoma City Light, Energy NewsData (publisher of this site) and BC Hydro. It didn't do as well with "loop flow," but nor was it cowed by terms such as "gas bubble disease," "pump cavitation," "pancake rates" or even "neutron embrittlement."

  • Hydrocomp Inc.: Hydrocomp, of Menlo Park, CA, develops hydrologic simulation software. It "has its origins" in mathematical modeling research done at Standford University in the 1960s. It's featured product, the Hydrologic Simulation Program in FORTRAN (HSPF) models water quality and quantity in a watershed and, according to the site, is recommended by EPA as "the most accurate and appropriate management tool available" for this purpose. The Forecast and Analysis Modeling system is designed to ease streamflow forecasting and analysis of reservoir operations. The site includes a "Hydrologic Journal" that has a number of short essays, as well as sections dealing specifically with hydroelectric plants. You can download a free copy of the "Reservoir Game" to test your multi-purpose reservoir management skills.

  • Morrison & Foerster: Energy Litigation: We include this merely because it is unique: a law firm using the web to promote its energy and energy litigation sections, complete with descriptions of selected recent cases. Another section covers its project development team, emphasizing finance and development of electric generating facilities.

  • Strategic Energy Ltd: SEL is an energy and consulting management agency with offices in Pittsburgh, PA; Charlotte, NC and San Jose, CA. Their website has a "Retail Wheeling" button which presents a US map colored according to the status of restructuring in each state. From here, you can click on any state and get a handful of paragraphs on where retail wheeling stands in that state. The summaries are of moderate depth, typically touching on legislative activity and pilot programs, but not much on state commissions.

  • The Energy Authority: The Energy Authority (TEA) provides public power utilities access to dedicated resources and advanced technology systems, allowing them to respond competitively in the changing market. Through partnership with TEA, utilities benefit from state-of-the-art technology and dedicated resources for a fraction of the cost.

  • US Army Corps of Engineers, Northwestern Division: The Corps regional office has a section on salmon passage at the dams, links to its four district offices, and some Corps press releases and newsletters. The salmon pages have extensive information on the fundamentals of fish matters. There’s also a link to the Corps Hydroelectric Design Center, which is located in Portland. From here, specs on the all Army Corps projects can be found. Also includes links to the various district offices, such as Seattle, where you can find more interesting stuff, including over 4,000 digital images of Army Corps projects.

  • Utility Connection: This is an excellent index to national and international energy resources on the web assembled by Michael Metzler, the southeastern regional manager in the management consulting division of the consulting and engineering firm of Black & Veatch working out of Orlando, FL. The mission of the site is to provide "links to electric, gas, water and wastewater utilities along with utility associations, organizations, news, magazines, and related state and federal regulatory and information sites." It is very well maintained and a good first choice for those who want to explore energy resource sites on the web.

  • ZE Power Group: ZE PowerGroup Inc. was started by Dr. Zak El-Ramly, former executive VP of Powerex. His Richmond, BC-based consulting firm assists clients in various elements of the changing electric market, such as business transactions and structure, risk management, marketing development, regulatory strategy, and helping with or assuming responsibility for contract negotiations. Ken Epp, a former CEO and president of Powerex and BC Hydro executive, is a ZE associate. The site offers more information about personnel, the scope of recent projects, and some contracting information.

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