Corps eyes advanced turbine for 603-MW Ice Harbor

The Corps of Engineers seeks expressions of interest and comments on a proposed design and acquisition program to develop an “environmentally friendly” advanced hydropower turbine. Responses are due May 9.

The Corps and Bonneville Power Administration said they are considering a partnership with industry to develop a “fish friendly” turbine. The Corps has continued work on advanced hydropower turbines despite discontinuance of similar work at the Department of Energy, which said it would turn such research over to private industry.

The Corps and BPA said their project would employ the newest technologies in turbine design and assessment as a proof of concept to support fish friendly or environmental-based designs. The resulting prototype turbine would replace Unit 2 at 603-MW Ice Harbor Dam on the Snake River in Washington.

In solicitation No. W912EF-06-R-SS03, the Corps said it seeks to determine industry interest and to solicit industry comments on the potential design and acquisition process.

Preliminary studies planned at Waterways Experiment Station

The Corps’ Walla Walla District expects to perform preliminary design modifications of an Ice Harbor observational model turbine at its Waterways Experiment Station Engineering Research and Development Center at Vicksburg, Miss. Preliminary investigation would identify areas of the turbine and water passage having potential to improve performance or fish passage.

The Corps anticipates the results of that study would be provided in a request for proposals to industry, with limits placed on allowable changes or modifications to Ice Harbor’s structure and turbine. The Corps expects a two-phase process. Phase I would determine the civil, hydraulic, and mechanical design of the turbine water passages and runner. Phase II would consist of the supply of a collaborative prototype design developed under Phase I.

A separate fixed-price construction contract, for installation of the final design as government-furnished equipment, is anticipated to complete the proof of concept design. The prototype contractor is to provide technical input during installation to ensure correct installation.

Expressions of interest and comments are due by May 9 to the address below. For information, contact Phyllis Buerstatte, Corps of Engineers, Walla Walla District, 201 N. Third Ave., Walla Walla, WA 99362-1876; E-mail: phyllis.l.buerstatte@usace.army.mil.

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