BELLEVUE, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 15, 2009--Engineering News-Record, one of the world's leading construction-industry journals, selected Cary Feldmann, senior fisheries biologist for Puget Sound Energy, as one of the "Top 25 Newsmakers of 2008" for his role in helping PSE build an innovative system to aide juvenile-salmon migration around tall hydroelectric dams.
The cover story in the New York-based weekly magazine's Jan. 12 issue said Feldmann "supplied the institutional memory and the insights" from three decades of salmon-enhancement work at PSE to guide the utility's development of a new, widely heralded "floating surface collector" at PSE's Baker River Hydroelectric Project in northwest Washington.
"This is a great honor not just for Cary and Puget Sound Energy, but for the many other individuals - both inside and outside our utility - who were involved in making our new fish collector a success," said Paul Wiegand, vice president of Power Generation for PSE.
Feldmann, who has a master's degree in fisheries science from the University of Washington, conducted statistical analysis for PSE in the late 1970s that identified the need for new approaches to save Baker River sockeye from possible extinction. He subsequently helped refine an earlier, less sophisticated floating surface collector long used on the Baker River, and then "guided, inspired, and coordinated development of [the new] floating surface collector," the News-Record wrote.
"I'm gratified that this effort has been recognized by the magazine," Feldmann said. "The project was a team effort from beginning to end. The credit shouldn't go to me; it belongs to a large and dedicated group of contributors - hydraulic, mechanical and electrical engineers, biologists, trades people, agency and tribal representatives, and others."
The 1,000-ton device floating above the Baker Lake reservoir's 280-foot-deep bottom is designed to attract and safely capture young salmon for downstream transport around PSE's two Baker River hydroelectric dams. In its first year of operation last spring, the $50 million apparatus induced the highest outmigration rate on record for juvenile Baker River sockeye. An estimated 90 to 95 percent of the watershed's sea-bound sockeye were safely guided into the collector for water-truck transport around the two North Cascades dams.
The National Marine Fisheries Service says PSE's new system serves as a model for other high-reservoir dam operators. Some two dozen domestic and foreign utilities already have toured PSE's Baker River operation, and several are either exploring or actively pursuing fish-migration systems based on PSE's so-called "gulper."
The new floating surface collector is a one-of-a-kind, 130-foot-by-60-foot barge equipped with a series of submerged screens, water pumps, fish-holding chambers, a fish-evaluation station, equipment-control rooms, and a fish-loading facility. PSE completed the collector in March 2008, following several years of collaborative discussions with outside stakeholders and 14 months of lakeshore construction.
Government fisheries agencies expect PSE's new floating surface collector, together with more than $100 million in other PSE fish-enhancement projects on which they're collaborating, to in time quadruple the Baker River's already rebounding sockeye numbers.
Since 1964 Engineering News-Record editors annually choose 25 "Top Newsmakers" they collectively decide have served the best interests of the construction industry and the public. No outside nominations are allowed. To be eligible, a person, or the project they worked on, must have been covered in the pages of the magazine or on its Web site. The News-Record wrote a story about PSE's floating surface collector in January 2008.
Feldmann, 58, and the other 2008 Newsmakers all will be recognized by the News-Record at a dinner in New York City in March or April. One of the 25 will receive the magazine's Award of Excellence for making the most significant contribution to the industry during the past year.
For more information about PSE's floating surface collector and to see a video on its design and function, visit PSE's Web site at PSE.com and click on the Energy & Environment tab.
Washington state's oldest and largest energy utility, with a 6,000-square-mile service area stretching across 11 counties, Puget Sound Energy serves more than 1 million electric customers and nearly 750,000 natural gas customers. PSE, a subsidiary of Puget Energy (NYSE:PSD), meets the energy needs of its growing customer base primarily in Western Washington through incremental, cost-effective energy conservation, procurement of sustainable energy resources, and far-sighted investment in the energy-delivery infrastructure. PSE employees are dedicated to providing great customer service to deliver energy that is safe, reliable, reasonably priced, and environmentally responsible. For more information, visit www.PSE.com.
CONTACT: Puget Sound Energy
Roger Thompson, 1.888.831.7250
Source: Puget Sound Energy