Rehab Reports

Rehabilitation of aging facilities is an ongoing theme in the North American hydropower market. This article profiles 18 facilities undergoing more than $2.6 billion worth of work.

By Elizabeth Ingram

What do 14,488 MW of hydropower facilities in the U.S. and Canada have in common? They are undergoing needed rehabilitation work. This work comes with a price tag of $2.68 billion.

The hydro projects featured in this article are just representative examples of the vast rehabilitation work being done in North America. Regardless, there are some key trends emerging from the data. They are:

  • Electrical work: Owners of seven facilities are doing work on generator step-up transformers, switchyard equipment, transmission lines and control systems
  • Major unit overhauls: With the youngest plants on this list being 41 years old, it’s not surprising many are undergoing major work to the turbines and generators

Allatoona

Owner: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Location: Georgia, U.S.

River: Etowah

Capacity: 83 MW

Original On-Line Date: 1950

Description of Work: Work will involve replacing the generator step-up transformers for Units 1 and 2, switchyard equipment, generator bus, medium/low voltage switchgear, station service distribution equipment, control system, governors and excitation systems.

Value of Work: $24 million

Expected Completion Date: May 2018

Service & Product Suppliers Involved: Koontz Electric Inc.

Beauharnois

Owner: Hydro-Quebec

Location: Quebec, Canada

River: Saint-Lawrence

Capacity: 1,755 MW

Original On-Line Date: 1932

Description of Work: Rehabilitation is intended to extend the service life of Quebec’s fifth largest power station. The work involves overhauling the 36 turbine-generator units in the powerhouse, constructing new buildings and rehabilitating the existing buildings, and rehabilitating the 120-kV transmission lines. This rehabilitation work began in 1994.

Value of Work: C$1.6 billion (US$1.3 billion)

Expected Completion Date: 2021

Service & Product Suppliers Involved: Alstom Hydro Canada, Cegerco, Dessau, Hydro Mecanique, SNC-Lavalin, Voith Hydro

Blue Mesa

Owner: U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation

Location: Colorado, U.S.

River: Gunnison

Capacity: 86.4 MW

Original On-Line Date: 1967

Description of Work: The Blue Mesa powerplant contains two generators rated at 48 MVA, 0.90 power factor, 11.5 kV and 200 rpm. New work on each unit will be to disassemble, re-assemble and align the generator; provide new generator air coolers, new cooling water and air vent piping and valves for the generator air coolers, new lower and upper guide/thrust bearing oil coolers, and new cooling water piping and valves for the upper and lower guide/thrust bearing coolers. All generator bearing shoes and thrust runner will be rehabilitated, along with removing and replacing the generator frame, stator core and armature windings. The complete new stator will be moved with the hoist and installed on the soleplates in the generator air housing. Finally, the contractor will remove and reinsulate the rotor poles and add new fan blades to the rotor, and each generator will receive a new replacement static exciter system.

Value of Work: $15 million

Expected Completion Date: Late 2019 or early 2020

Service & Product Suppliers Involved: Toshiba

Bonneville

Owner: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Location: Oregon, U.S.

River: Columbia

Capacity: 1,080 MW

Original On-Line Date: 1937

Description of Work: Work will involve replacing the oil-filled main unit breakers, which are original equipment to the Bonneville 1 powerhouse. In addition, the station service system will be reconfigured and modernized.

Value of Work: $34 million

Expected Completion Date: Fiscal year 2019

Service & Product Suppliers Involved: Nova

Carters

Owner: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Location: Georgia, U.S.

River: Coosawattee

Capacity: 340 MW

Original On-Line Date: 1976

Description of Work: This rehab work will involve rewinding the generator-motors of Units 3 and 4, which are used for pumped storage.

Value of Work: $20 million

Expected Completion Date: October 2017

Service & Product Suppliers Involved: Alstom Inc.

Chief Joseph

Owner: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Location: Washington, U.S.

River: Columbia

Capacity: 2,457 MW

Original On-Line Date: 1955

Description of Work: Work at this facility will involve rehabilitating the turbines on Units 1 through 16 and replacing turbine runners.

Value of Work: $172 million

Expected Completion Date: Fiscal year 2017

Service & Product Suppliers Involved: Alstom

Dworshak

Owner: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Location: Idaho, U.S.

River: Clearwater

Capacity: 400 MW

Original On-Line Date: 1973

Description of Work: This work involves replacing the winding, core and air coolers for Unit 3.

Value of Work: $14 million

Expected Completion Date: Fiscal year 2018

Service & Product Suppliers Involved: Andritz

Hartwell

Owner: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Location: Georgia, U.S.

River: Savannah

Capacity: 84 MW

Original On-Line Date: 1962

Description of Work: Unit 3 has experienced vibration since a rewind completed in 2000, which has caused several winding failures and damage to the concrete foundation. A vibration study is being conducted to determine the root cause of the vibration and eliminate it if possible. The balance of contract funds for work on Unit 3 is $1.3 million, but depending on the vibration repair needed the total cost could be $2.5 million to million.

Value of Work: $1.3 million

Expected Completion Date: November 2017

Service & Product Suppliers Involved: Alstom

Hoover

Owner: U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation

Location: Nevada, U.S.

River: Colorado

Capacity: 2,078 MW

Original On-Line Date: 1935

Description of Work: The three original pressure relief valves are a remnant of the hydropower plant’s original equipment and are used to divert water around the turbines, reducing pressure that would otherwise occur in the penstocks. The pressure relief valves at Hoover will be modernized and overhauled, including installing new valve head covers and hydraulic actuators.

Value of Work: $6.82 million

Expected Completion Date: Late 2019

Service & Product Suppliers Involved: Andritz Hydro

John Day

Owner: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Location: Oregon, U.S.

River: Columbia

Capacity: 2,160 MW

Original On-Line Date: 1971

Description of Work: Work will involve replacing the emergency intake gantry crane, which has a capacity of 348 tons. Work being performed under a separate contract involves rebuilding and upgrading up to five turbine runner hubs due to Kaplan linkage failures. Four additional hubs may be rebuilt under a future amendment to this project.

Value of Work: $50 million

Expected Completion Date: Fiscal year 2020 (crane), Fiscal year 2023 (hubs)

Service & Product Suppliers Involved: Andritz, Reel Canadian Overhead Crane

Lower Monumental

Owner: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Location: Washington, U.S.

River: Snake

Capacity: 810 MW

Original On-Line Date: 1969

Description of Work: This rehabilitation will involve upgrading the Unit 1 turbine linkage to restore the full capacity of the Kaplan turbine, as well as a generator rewind.

Value of Work: $14 million

Expected Completion Date: Fiscal year 2017

Service & Product Suppliers Involved: Andritz

Markland

Owner: Duke Energy

Location: Indiana, U.S.

River: Ohio

Capacity: 65 MW

Original On-Line Date: 1967

Description of Work: This work will involve overhauling the three turbines, generators and other equipment and will increase the project’s generation capacity by about 10%.

Value of Work: $152 million

Expected Completion Date: 2021

Service & Product Suppliers Involved: Voith Hydro

McNary

Owner: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Location: Oregon, U.S.

River: Columbia

Capacity: 980 MW

Original On-Line Date: 1953

Description of Work: This rehabilitation will involve replacing and upgrading the station service distribution system. Work budgeted but not yet contracted for involved design and replacement of the Kaplan turbine runners on Units 1 through 14. In addition, rehab work was completed in Fiscal year 2016, which involved rewinding 12 generators, performed under an $85 million contract with Andritz.

Value of Work: $496 million

Expected Completion Date: Fiscal year 2019 (station service), Fiscal year 2032 (turbines)

Service & Product Suppliers Involved: Olsson Industrial Electric

Minidoka

Owner: U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation

Location: Idaho, U.S.

River: Snake

Capacity: 28 MW

Original On-Line Date: 1909

Description of Work: A 2015 construction contract was awarded to perform turbine overhauls on generating Units 8 and 9 in the Allen E. Inman power plant at Minidoka Dam. Work includes installing new turbine seals, replacing turbine shafts, and installing new governors and related equipment. Work on both units is expected to be finished in early 2019. The Allen E. Inman plant, built in 1997, operates in conjunction with two other generating units in the Minidoka Dam’s original powerhouse for a total capacity of 28 MW.

Value of Work: $5.86 million

Expected Completion Date: early 2019

Service & Product Suppliers Involved: Alstom Renewable Power, Inc.

Philpott

Owner: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Location: Virginia, U.S.

River: Smith

Capacity: 15 MW

Original On-Line Date: 1952

Description of Work: This project consists of replacing all 480-volt switchgear, including MMC and breakers; all 15-kV switchgear and buswork, and control circuits. In addition, equipment to be upgraded includes moving to digital-hydraulic governors and a digital static automatic voltage regulator.

Value of Work: million

Expected Completion Date: August 2017

Service & Product Suppliers Involved: Eaton Corp.

Priest Rapids

Owner: Public Utility District No. 2 of Grant County

Location: Washington, U.S.

River: Columbia

Capacity: 955.6 MW

Original On-Line Date: 1956

Description of Work: The scope of the turbine refurbishment work includes upgrading to a new more efficient runner and replacing the inner head cover; replacing wicket gates and the bushings and linings for the wicket gates; replacing hub-shaft coupling hardware as well as the shaft sleeve and seal; refurbishing the draft tube liner, outer and intermediate head covers, stay ring, turbine bearing, wicket gate servomotor, operating ring, turbine shaft, Kaplan pipes, oil head and governor oil pressure system; and resurfacing the water passageway in the blade swept area.

Value of Work: $198 million

Expected Completion Date: 2026

Service & Product Suppliers Involved: Brazil Quality Services, MWH (now part of Stantec), Voith Hydro

Wanapum

Owner: Public Utility District No. 2 of Grant County

Location: Washington, U.S.

River: Columbia

Capacity: 1,038 MW

Original On-Line Date: 1963

Description of Work: The utility is installing the eighth of 10 new upgraded generators. The scope includes a new stator, rotor, exciter, generator shaft and monitoring system. The OEM generator was rated at 109,250 kVA and is being uprated to 128,600 kVA. Major work consists of providing a new stator frame, stator core, stator winding, generator shaft, rotor spider, laminated rim, field poles, ventilation system, static excitation system, monitoring system and labor for assembly.

Value of Work: $161 million

Expected Completion Date: 2020

Service & Product Suppliers Involved: Alstom Renewables Inc., Brazil Quality Services, MWH (now part of Stantec)

West Point

Owner: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Location: Georgia, U.S.

River: Chattahoochee

Capacity: 73 MW

Original On-Line Date: 1976

Description of Work: This rehab involves replacing the generator step-up transformers for Units 2 and 3, generator breakers, and generator buss, as well as adding high-voltage breaker and disconnects to switchyard.

Value of Work: $6 million

Expected Completion Date: December 2017

Service & Product Suppliers Involved: Koontz Electric Inc.

Elizabeth Ingram is managing editor of Hydro Review.

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