(Washington, D.C.) American Municipal Power, Inc. (AMP) President/CEO Marc Gerken is the new President of the National Hydropower Association (NHA) Board of Directors. Gerken was installed as President during the association’s annual conference held April 22-24 in Washington, D.C., and will lead the association’s efforts during the coming year.
NHA is a nonprofit national association dedicated to promoting the growth of clean, affordable U.S. hydropower. It seeks to secure hydropower’s place as a climate-friendly, renewable and reliable energy source that serves national environmental, energy, and economic policy objectives. Gerken has been involved with NHA and its Board of Directors since 2009.
“I became involved in NHA because I appreciate the role that the association plays as the national voice for hydropower with lawmakers, regulators, and the media,” Gerken said in his speech to conference attendees. “I wanted to help NHA in their efforts to enhance hydropower’s potential and to now have the opportunity to help lead thses efforts is humbling.”
AMP is active with NHA and is providing a recognized leadership in the development of new hydroelectric resources. AMP built the Belleville Hydroelectric Plant on the Ohio River, which began commercial operation in 1999. The organization currently has four new hydroelectric projects under construction on the Ohio River that collectively will add more than 300 megawatts of additional generation to the region. A number of AMP member utilities own hydroelectric facilities.
“This is an exciting time for the hydro industry, with projects under development, an increasing recognition of the valuable role hydro plays in the nation’s energy industry, and realization of the tremendous potential still available with this important resource,” Gerken said. “We also recognize the challenges that we must continue to deal with if hydropower is to realize its full potential. And while these challenges are present, we also must recognize that we’ve had success in addressing them and that effort needs to continue as we move forward.”
Gerken is calling for common sense permitting, licensing and relicensing processes for all of the parties involved in hydro development. In his address to conference attendees, he cited the redundancy within and among various regulatory agency processes and the impacts on the ability to get projects started, to get projects financed, to complete projects in a reasonable timeframe, and to enhance efficiencies at existing projects. “If hydropower is going to realize its potential, we must continue our efforts to reduce this inefficiency,” he said.
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