The Hydropower Analysis Center was established in the 1950s to address the hydropower potential of the Pacific Northwest. In 1995, the HAC became the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' center of hydropower expertise. HAC merged with the Hydroelectric Design Center in 2008.
The HAC is involved with hydropower analyses and economic evaluations of many projects in the U.S. and abroad. Some of the key functions of the HAC include:
- Hydropower energy evaluations
- Powerplant studies
- Power value computations
- River systems studies
- Hydropower analysis training
The Electrical branch provides planning and engineering for electrical portions of powerhouses and pumping stations. This includes the review of electrical features of non-Federal hydropower development at Corps projects that could affect the project integrity and safety, as well as forensic failure analysis for major power plant equipment.
This section provides a full range of professional engineering services associated with hydropower facilities. Included are the engineering studies for load flow, fault analysis, arc flash analysis, protective relay settings, equipment sizing, and control interactions with the external power transmission system. Field engineering support is also provided to assist operating power plants, and to test and support commissioning and start-up of new or renovated systems.
The Mechanical/Structural branch is responsible for providing, planning and engineering for mechanical and structural portions of powerhouses and pumping stations. In addition, this branch provides reviews of structural and mechanical features of non-Federal hydropower at Corps projects that could affect the project integrity and safety.
The Product Coordination branch at the Hydroelectric Design Center works with both customers and engineers, managing workload while maintaining positive and successful customer relationships. Product coordinators act as a customer's primary point of contact and manage each project from the beginning of work until the project is complete. Work areas are assigned by division across the nation. The PC branch does the following work:
- Coordinate and prepare scopes, schedules and budgets for each task or job.
- Monitor schedules and costs and assure effective progress of jobs.
- Interface with client district's project managers.
- Finalize specification packages.
- Coordinate with customer districts and partners to help develop out-year programs.
- Represent HDC in meetings with customers, partners, stakeholders and interested parties.
- Assist management and resource providers in assessing resourcing and staffing needs.