NYPA wins U.S. approval to add 160 MW to Blenheim Gilboa

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has approved the New York Power Authority’s plan to rehabilitate four pump-turbines and motor-generators at the 1,000-MW Blenheim Gilboa Pumped-Storage project. NYPA will add 160 MW to the project’s generating capacity and improve its generating efficiency by about 7 percent.

FERC issued a license amendment April 28 authorizing NYPA to rehabilitate turbine runners and possibly other components of the 33-year-old units to increase total generating capacity of the project (No. 2685), on Schoharie Creek near Blenheim and Gilboa, N.Y. The rehabilitated units will have a capacity of 290 MW each, providing an overall generating capacity of 1,160 MW.

While existing units can operate at 260 MW, the previous authorized installed capacity for each unit, as determined by FERC, was 250 MW, FERC said. Therefore the authorized installed capacity prior to amendment of the license was 1,000 MW, not the 1,040 MW listed in the licensee’s amendment application.

Work will include installation of new high-efficiency turbine runners, and modification of stay vanes, wicket gates, and seal systems. NYPA said it plans to start work on the first unit in September, completing that work in spring 2007. Completion of the last unit is scheduled for spring 2010.

Commission Chairman Joseph Kelliher said rehabilitation would provide more efficient use of an existing resource to provide additional emission-free electricity during periods of peak demand, contributing to the operational flexibility of the New York Independent System Operator. NYPA added modifications would enhance project flexibility to meet peak power demand.

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