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How to Ace a FERC Hydropower Dam Inspection [NEW]

Posted by Rory Alsberg on September 01, 2020

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulates the transmission and wholesale sale of electricity in the United States. An important duty of FERC is to monitor conditions of the more than 1,700 non-federal, electricity-generating dams in the US. They also set standards that hydropower project owners must follow to ensure the safety of the general public. This includes mandating regular inspections of hydropower projects to certify they are in sound condition and comply with the Commission’s safety standards. Owners not in compliance with the Commission’s inspection standards risk losing their power generating license.

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Rural Dam Construction Areas Gain Access to Internet

J.F. Brennan Company, Inc. (Brennan) recently won a contract with AECOM Energy and Construction (AECOM) for remediation work on LaGrange Lock and Dam on the Illinois River. The contract required us to partake in major gate and concrete rehab while supplying wireless internet access not only to our own Brennan office trailers, but also to prime contractor AECOM and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for the duration of the multi-year project.

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Dive Inspection Leads to Underwater Dam Repairs in Colorado

Posted by Adam Thorson on March 04, 2020

Through multiple successful projects, J.F. Brennan Company (Brennan) developed a great partnering relationship with the Midwest group of Xcel Energy® (Xcel). From Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) dive inspections and innovative dam repair projects to the implementation of amphibious equipment and helicopters for transmission line installation, we are always looking at ways of incorporating Brennan’s “can-do” attitude into all client interactions. This year, we got the opportunity to work with Xcel’s Western group.

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Most-Searched Blog Topics of 2019

Posted by Kimberly Walters on January 07, 2020

Brennan blog posts were viewed 13,622 times in 2019. Reviewing our most-searched blog topics helps us construct a list of the marine industry's most critical topics and those most pertinent to our company. So, what were the most-searched topics?

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Risk, Impact, and Corporate Responsibility: Implementing an Environmental Management Program

Posted by Michael Cannell on December 16, 2019

As a marine solutions company, J.F. Brennan Company, Inc. (Brennan) faces a unique array of regulations and rules. While every company deals with regulations, most deal with rules that impact operations only on land or only in the water. We are accountable for regulatory requirements in both areas and have been for years. So, what's changed and what are we doing about it? 

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The Science Behind Radial Gate Tensioning

Posted by Dillon Hogan on November 27, 2018

At Brennan, we have worked on many dams of various sizes and functions. As very few new dams are built each year, most of our work consists of rehabilitation and repairs. Dams are built to last for long periods of time, however certain components will require periodic repairs and replacements. For instance, radial gates are some of the most common components that need attention. In our experience, we have found certain best practices that will increase the lifespan of these gates, as well as increase their functionality. 

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Cofferdams 101: Different Types and Construction Methods on Waterways

Posted by Dillon Hogan on August 21, 2018

Working around water poses a plethora of challenges. There are always two parts of a water-based project, the above and below water sections. Access to the above water section is easy, however when working below the waterline access is not that easy. One of the more apparent issues is what do you do when the water is in the way of your work? One solution is to build a cofferdam.

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Out of Sight, Out of Mind; The Importance of Underwater Inspections

Posted by Dillon Hogan on July 10, 2018

Lock and Dams, bridges, pipeline crossings, and barge terminals are all examples of water-based infrastructure. Ensuring that these structures maintain their integrity is essential to their continued operation, however water-based infrastructure presents an added challenge because a portion of the structure is underwater.

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Stabilizing Dams Using Post-Tensioned Anchors

Posted by Dave Laack on May 01, 2018

Post-tensioned rock and soil anchors provide an optimal solution  for dam stabilization.According to the Post-Tensioning Institute, post-tensioned rock and soil anchors provide a cost-efficient, high-performance solution for projects in need of temporary and permanent stabilization solutions. There are numerous different post-tension applications in the construction industry, but one of the most important areas is in dam stabilization.

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Waterway Infrastructure from the Eyes of Those Who Build It

Posted by Mark Binsfeld on March 22, 2018

There is a lot of buzz around the president’s infrastructure plan lately. It is clear that everyone wants better infrastructure, regardless to which party an individual may belong. The biggest challenge to getting what everyone wants is funding, and making matters more difficult, the allocation of this funding is another source of disagreement. As a contractor that provides construction services to owners of infrastructure, it is clear that the waterways are suffering the most from lack of investment.

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