Voith Hydro Strongly Supports Hydropower Improvement Act

Legislation will increase safe and clean hydropower generation and create new jobs

Mar 23, 2011, 16:21 ET from Voith Hydro

YORK, Pa., March 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Kevin Frank, President and CEO of Voith Hydro Inc., announced his strong support for the Hydropower Improvement Act of 2011.  The legislation, which was introduced by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), would spur hydropower deployment, create new clean energy jobs, and keep energy prices low.  

"As demand for more renewable energy continues to rise, we must be ready to supply it," Frank said.  "Hydropower provides a clean and safe way to meet our energy goals.  Unfortunately, many hurdles remain that have prevented us from improving U.S. hydropower capacity.  The Hydropower Improvement Act will help us overcome those challenges and provide good-paying jobs across America."

Senator Murkowski was joined by a bipartisan group of original cosponsors, including Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM).  The bill's other co-sponsors include Mark Begich (D-AK), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Patty Murray (D-WA), James Risch (R-ID), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

The Hydropower Improvement Act will speed the deployment of new hydropower projects by streamlining the regulatory process and requiring interagency cooperation; through the establishment of competitive grants for increased production; and with continued support for cutting edge research and development.  A National Hydropower Association (NHA) fact sheet detailing the bill's key provisions can be found here.

"This legislation will ensure that federal policies support increased hydropower production, rather than hinder it," Frank said.  "It presents a viable path towards safely harnessing the full potential of hydropower production.  Passing this legislation will provide companies like Voith Hydro with the certainty needed to get more hydropower online and create new jobs.  I applaud Senator Murkowski and her Senate colleagues for their bipartisan leadership on this issue and urge the Hydropower Improvement Act's swift passage."

Hydropower is the nation's most available, reliable, affordable and sustainable energy resource.  Hydropower is available in every part of the United States, employing approximately 300,000 workers nationwide and providing 30 million U.S. households with clean and affordable American-made energy.   Secretary of Energy Dr. Steven Chu called hydropower "one of the best kept secrets" and "astoundingly efficient... it's an incredible opportunity and it's actually the lowest cost clean energy option."  

To a large degree, hydropower remains an untapped resource.  Only 3% of the country's 82,000 dams actually produce energy.  A 2009 NHA study determined that, with the right policies in place, hydropower could create as many as 1.4 million cumulative American jobs over the next 15 years while adding 60,000MW to the nation's electric grid.  Perhaps most importantly, hydropower is in abundant supply and presents a safe, affordable, exceedingly efficient, climate-friendly, and indispensable means of energy generation worldwide.  

Headquartered in York, Voith Hydro's North American operations are home to one of the world's largest dedicated hydro turbine equipment manufacturing facilities.  Voith Hydro recently opened a new manufacturing facility in Hannibal, OH, creating 44 new jobs.  Over the past three years, the 550-employee company added 126 employees during a time in which many companies saw their payrolls decrease.

About Voith Hydro – Voith Hydro is a Group Division of Voith and - with a workforce of currently almost 5,200 employees and a sales volume of almost 1.2 billion Euros in the business year 2009/2010 – belongs to the world-wide leading companies for hydro power equipment.

Voith sets standards in the markets energy, oil & gas, paper, raw materials and transportation & automotive. Founded in 1867, Voith employs almost 40,000 people, generates euro 5.2 billion in sales, operates in about 50 countries around the world and is today one of the biggest family-owned companies in Europe.

Contact: Tylynn Gordon

SOURCE Voith Hydro