GRDA plans major upgrade of 108-MW Markham Ferry

Grand River Dam Authority is planning major upgrades of the four generators at Robert S. Kerr Dam powerhouse, part of its 108-MW Markham Ferry hydroelectric project.

Upgrades to the 42-year-old units will increase output, modernize the units, and lower maintenance costs, GRDA Chief Executive Officer Kevin Easley said. The units now produce an average total of 257 gigawatt-hours annually.

GRDA’s board awarded a $72 million contract Oct. 11 to Alstom Power to perform work on the units, installed from 1962-1964. It anticipates the work will increase capacity by 15 percent. Benham Engineering of Tulsa, Okla., the authority’s consulting engineer, evaluated bids submitted for the upgrades.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a relicense order Aug. 9, allowing GRDA to operate the project (No. 2183) for 30 more years. (HNN 10/24/06)

�This is important to GRDA and its customers because it allows us to move forward toward a goal of increasing the generation capacity at Kerr Dam,� Easley said of the relicensing. �We believe our hydroelectric facilities are tremendous assets for the state and we intend for them to be as efficient and productive as possible.�

The relicense order does not reflect GRDA plans for the upgrades. Any increase in the project’s authorized installed capacity is subject to FERC approval.

Robert S. Kerr Dam was completed in 1964 and was the second hydroelectric project constructed on Oklahoma’s Grand River. The project’s original license was issued in 1955 and expired in May 2005. Since that time, Markham Ferry had operated under a temporary annual license.

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