Matthew Gass Consulting

Specializing In Engineering Consulting Services related to Hydro Power and Water Resources

Sampling of Projects

Turbine Generator Design & Upgrades

Northern California Power Authority (NCPA) - Performed unit upgrade studies and testing of two 130 MW high head turbines. Assisted in implementing modifications to the tailwater depression system that allowed the utility to continue to produce power during periods of high spill. This change increased power production for several additional weeks each spring during runoff in both 2005 and 2006, earning the utility over $500,000 in additional revenues.

Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) - Performed upgrade study for an 80 MW Pelton type turbine generator at PCWA's Ralston Facility. The unit is currently hydraulically limited from an upstream project and intervening watershed. Initial investigations indicate potential increased capacity of up to 10 MW at a cost of less than $200,000/MW, much less than the cost of installing a new unit and with potentially less environmental impacts.

ALCAN - Conducted upgrade studies and review of specifications for the replacement of runners and other turbine parts for the Kemano Powerplant. The upgrade included 8 units, each 120 MW for a total plant capacity of 960 MW. Efficiency upgrades of more than 2% at full load (approximately 19 MW of incremental capacity) were implemented at a cost of less than $300,000 per MW -- a fraction of the cost to install a new unit and with fewer environmental impacts.

Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) - Developed design options for upgrading a dam spillway. Prepared purchase and installation specifications for turbine governor replacements on multiple units.

Hetch Hetchy Water and Power, San Francisco - Provided all the design, purchase, installation and testing support for the upgrade of six large Pelton turbines. Total output increased from 150 MW to 187 MW for less than 1.5 million dollars on two of the units. Replacement runners and upgraded nozzle design on the other four Pelton turbines yielded a net 2% increase overall.

Hetch Hetchy Water and Power, San Francisco - Designed, built, and installed innovative rock trap structure in existing surge shaft of a major tunnel during a limited system outage. Performed computer flow modeling studies that led to the final installed design.

PPL (Montana) - Performed turbine-generator upgrade studies for two 7.5 MW pelton units, vintage 1923, at PPL’s Mystic Lake Powerhouse. Several repowering and renovation options were identified. Final solution selected was to modify two used Pelton runners along with designing new nozzles which yielded a 10% increase in efficiency.

Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA) - Conducted site surveys, feasibility evaluations, and detailed engineering designs for in-conduit hydropower applications for IEUA’s regional wastewater treatment plants. Four low head sites ranging in size from 30 kW to 220 kW were recommended at points of high-pressure wastewater discharge.

Operation Optimization Studies & Procedures

California Energy Commission - Described opportunities for increasing capacity and output of existing hydropower facilities through retrofits of tunnels, penstocks, pipelines and turbines for the Energy Commission's staff paper, "California's Water-Energy Relationship."

Hetch Hetchy Water and Power, San Francisco - Developed algorithms for optimizing power production including complex variables such as, hydrology and runoff patterns, reservoir storage capacities; reservoir and river elevations, system and equipment capacities, efficiency curves and operating constraints, water delivery schedules, fish and recreational flows, regulatory issues, energy deliveries; power prices; and water quality requirements.

Equipment Specifications for Bids & Purchases

Hetch Hetchy Water and Power, San Francisco - Provided the detail design and supported purchase and field installation of over 30 million dollars of new generating equipment to support a 400 MW power and water system.

Inspections & Trouble Shooting

Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) - Performed an asset management study for all of the utility's hydro related assets including expected replacement and maintenance costs.

FERC Licensing

Currently assisting a client in the innovative design, development and permitting of two small hydro sites. A 1.5-megawatt hydropower project will use groundwater from an abandoned mine. A smaller 200 kW plant is near ready for start-up.

Placing Runner in the Hole at Mystic Powerhouse

Penstock at French Meadows

Collierville Runner