Corps rehab project boosts Hartwell capacity to 422 MW

The Corps of Engineers has completed a $33 million refurbishment of the Hartwell hydroelectric project, increasing the Georgia facility’s capacity 78 MW to a total of 422 MW.

Congress provided initial funding for the refurbishment and upgrade in 1995, with on-site work beginning in 1997. Corps officials and guests celebrated completion of the program May 10 at the power plant on the Savannah River.

Four of Hartwell’s five generators were refurbished, increasing the output of each to 85.5 MW from 66 MW; a fifth generator rated at 80 MW did not require refurbishment. Turbine work also was included in the upgrade.

The improvements are expected to provide $3.3 million dollars of added annual benefits over 35 years, the government said. They also will improve the ability of the power plant to provide constant power on demand to local utility companies through the Southeastern Power Administration.

In addition to the generator rewinding, electrical and mechanical peripheral equipment was replaced. Generator circuit breakers, mechanical governor controls, exciters, and switchyard circuit breakers were replaced. As for the turbines, weld cracks and cavitation damage to runners were addressed. Lead-based paint in the turbine scroll case area was removed. New head gates, draft tube gates, and stop logs were fabricated, and an oil-water separator was installed for environmental compliance.

The Corps said National Electric Coil rewound the generators and was prime contractor for refurbishing the turbines. East Coast Management Inc. was a subcontractor to National Electric Coil for turbine work.

Other contractors included: ABB, transformer and generator breaker supply; J.L. Malone, installation of transformers and generator breakers; NESI and Areva, switchyard breaker supply; and WebbErection Inc., switchyard upgrade. Cutler Hammer and Maddux Supply Co. provided and installed exciters. Voith Siemens handled governor replacement. The Tennessee Valley Authority provided new head gates, draft tube gates, and stop logs.

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