U.S. plans penstock recoating for 94.5-MW Flatiron

The Bureau of Reclamation said it will use $14 million from an economic stimulus bill passed in February to apply a new protective coating to two penstocks at its 94.5-MW Flatiron hydroelectric plant in Colorado.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 included $1 billion to BuRec to invest in U.S. water infrastructure projects. Those projects include Flatiron, part of the Colorado-Big Thompson project. (HNN 4/15/09)

The Flatiron penstocks, in service since 1954, drop water 1,064 feet through a mile of pipeline to the hydropower plant, located 50 miles northwest of Denver.

The protective coating on the inside and outside of the penstocks needs to be replaced, BuRec said. The job would involve removing lead-based paint from the exterior and interior of the penstocks, disposing of it, and applying a new coating. Recoating work also would include installing ultrasonic flowmeters on the penstocks to improve accounting for water and power plant efficiency.

BuRec said recoating would reduce long-term operational costs provided by a more efficient and temperature-resistant paint product. It also would maintain structural integrity and increase reliability by extending the penstocks’ service life an additional 50 years.

BuRec plans to issue a solicitation for the work on the Federal Business Opportunities website, www.fbo.gov.

In 2008, BuRec awarded a $9.9 million contract to National Electric Coil of Columbus, Ohio, to overhaul generators of two Flatiron units. (HNN 9/16/08)

Flatiron and the other five hydropower plants in the Colorado-Big Thompson project generate an average of 759 gigawatt-hours annually, BuRec said. Colorado-Big Thompson also provides water to more than 725,000 people and 620,000 irrigated acres in northeastern Colorado.

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