U.S. names switchyard contractor for 6,809-MW Grand Coulee

The Bureau of Reclamation awarded a $6.5 million contract April 14 to Burke Electric LLC of Bellevue, Wash., to construct a new electric switchyard that will replace an existing switchyard at 6,809-MW Grand Coulee Dam.

The new switchyard will operate at 11.95 kilovolts and will provide power from Grand Coulee generators to other facilities at the project. The contractor will be responsible for preparing the site, and for designing, furnishing, and installing transformers, circuit breakers, control boards, disconnects, and associated support structures, lighting, wiring, and cabling. Work at the project, on the Columbia River in eastern Washington, is to be completed in fall 2007.

“This work will help to ensure that Grand Coulee Dam remains a stable and reliable source of hydroelectric power in the Pacific Northwest,” Acting Commissioner Bill Rinne said. “Clean and renewable energy resources such as this are essential to the economy and a healthy environment.”

Grand Coulee Dam has 33 generators in three power plants, a pumping plant, and three switchyards. It is a multi-purpose project, providing flood control, irrigation, hydropower production, recreation, stream flows, and fish and wildlife benefits. It provides water for the Columbia Basin Project and generates 19,000 gigawatt-hours annually, BuRec said.

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