New York Power Authority returned the 1,160-MW Blenheim Gilboa Pumped-Storage project to service with start up of Unit 4 on Nov. 13. Units 1 and 3 were to return to service by week’s end, completing the first phase of a modernization program.
The state-owned utility closed the entire project in September to begin overhaul of Unit 2, part of a planned four-year, $135 million overhaul of the project (No. 2685). (HNN 9/27/06) Shutdown of the entire project was necessary because operators reduced water levels in the upper reservoir to permit replacement of the unit’s spherical valve that controls flow of water into the powerhouse.
The project’s other three spherical valves are to be refurbished in succeeding years, also requiring temporary shutdowns, NYPA said.
Work includes replacement of major mechanical and electrical components, and maintenance and repairs to most other parts, the utility said. Unit 2 is to be complete by June 2007, in time to help meet peak summer demand. The rehab process will be repeated for the other three units beginning each fall in 2007, 2008, and 2009. The entire program is to be complete by May 2010.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission earlier this year approved NYPA’s plan to rehabilitate the four units, authorizing a capacity increase to 1,160 MW from 1,000 MW and improving efficiency about 7 percent.