Dams and Hydropower

Dams and Hydropower

ANS’s hydro power experts have extensive backgrounds in planning, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FER C) licensing, and design of hydroelectric projects. Through our ecology division, ANS offers assistance with conducting environmental studies and related analyses including fisheries, fish passage design, wildlife studies, permitting, water quality investigations and long-term biological monitoring.

FERC Part 12 Inspections

ANS’s hydro power engineers have performed hundreds of FERC 5-year Part 12 safety inspections at hydroelectric facilities throughout the U.S. We have extensive experience in the Potential Failure Modes Analysis (PFMA) process and PFMA workshops facilitation. Our FERC-certified Independent Consultants are backed by engineers and scientists with expertise in hydraulics/hydrology, structural engineering, geotechnical engineering, fish passage design, water quality analysis, instrumentation and license compliance.

Dam Safety

ANS specializes in dam design, safety evaluation and rehabilitation, including inspections; siting studies; feasibility level designs; permitting; final designs; preparation of plans and specifications; construction inspections; hydrology and hydraulic studies; dam failure evaluations; seepage, stability and seismic behavior analyses; borrow studies; and laboratory testing and analyses. Our staff offers extensive experience in the design of new dams and safety modifications to existing dams. Our experts include geotechnical, hydraulic and structural engineers; geologists; hydrologists; biologists; chemists; and laboratory and field technicians.


Our civil, hydraulic/hydrologic, and structural engineers are in-depth specialists in the evaluation and design of dams and their appurtenant structures. We design for conveyance facilities such as open channels, conduits, spillways, and outlet works. ANS provides clients with the necessary expertise and experience to effectively evaluate the safety and hydraulic adequacy of structures such as dam spillways, outlet works, and overtopping protection. Our hydraulic/hydrologic engineers regularly perform incremental damage assessments, probable maximum precipitation studies, probable maximum flood analyses, spillway and outlet works hydraulic design and analysis, flood hydrology, and hydraulic data statistical evaluations.

Structural Analysis and Design

Our structural engineers are seasoned in all types of dam designs and their related appurtenant structures including concrete impounding structures (RCC and mass concrete), primary spillways (chutes, floors, walls), intake towers, outlet works, energy dissipation structures, bridges, hydro facilities, siphons, bulkheads, anchorage systems, valve and gate systems and parapets. Our structural engineering includes comprehensive capability to analyze and design both static and dynamic loadings.

Relicensing and Environmental Compliance

ANS offers expertise in conducting a variety of environmental studies including fisheries, endangered species, water quality investigations and monitoring. With this expertise, we can help hydro owners address environmental compliance issues within the context of FERC licensing and compliance criteria and FERC-mandated license conditions for operating hydroelectric projects. Many FERC compliance issues are driven by the need for data collection and reporting. The ability to control and report static head, pressure, discharge, gas saturation, temperature, turbulence, turbidity, sediment and chemistry on a regular and sometimes real-time basis is important. The pathway to efficient and cost-effective compliance is through 24/7 compliance automation and reporting. ANS provides clients with integrated and reliable solutions to complement their existing Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems.

Vertical Access Inspections

ANS’s team of vertical inspection engineers are the Society of Professional Rope Access Technicians (SPRAT) certified. Our rope‐access staff crosses numerous engineering disciplines (civil, geotechnical, and structural) and they are accomplished at
conducting vertical and near-vertical inspections of dam and hydropower facilities. Our experience in performing close‐up inspections of FERC Category I tainter gates, sluice gates, surge towers, penstocks, and steep dam faces complies with FERC inspection criteria and has been used to provide supplemental data for analysis and recommendations for the maintenance of aging facilities.

Specialty Services

We frequently assist hydropower clients with associated environmental and permitting services required for facilities. Often, dams and forebays affect wetlands, archaeological and cultural resources, threatened and endangered species, and water quality, thus requiring specific environmental permits. ANS offers comprehensive ecological and ecotoxicological services including an in-house water quality laboratory. We regularly perform ecological studies and evaluations for hydro dam operations, including data gathering and field investigations. Services include aquatic ecology, fisheries, endangered species studies, irrigation and drainage systems, wetland restoration and remediation, riparian delineation, water quality analysis, land use management, wildlife biology, limnology, environmental documentation, economic analysis and public involvement facilitation.