New York restarts third unit at 1,160-MW Blenheim-Gilboa

New York Power Authority announced June 17, 2009, it refurbished and returned to service a third unit of the four-unit, 1,160-MW Blenheim-Gilboa Pumped-Storage project in the Northern Catskill Mountains of New York.

The newly refurbished pump-turbine generator had been out of service since September 2008. It resumed operation May 30, one year after reactivation of the previous unit to undergo rehabilitation. (HydroWorld 6/6/08) The first unit refurbished was returned to service in May 2007 in a four-year, $135 million program to modernize and extend the life of Blenheim-Gilboa (No. 2685).

NYPA said all four units of Blenheim-Gilboa now are available to meet demand during the peak-demand summer season.

In September, the utility will begin work on the fourth pump-turbine generator, shutting down the entire station for part of October and November to lower the water level of the upper reservoir to prepare for work. The fourth unit is to return to service in June 2010.

The Life Extension and Modernization program includes replacement of major mechanical and electrical components, and maintenance and repairs to most other parts. NYPA said the overhauls would allow the facility to produce more power from the same amount of water while extending reliable service. Following overhauls, each unit will have a capacity of 290 MW.

NYPA awarded two contracts in May totaling $2.8 million for additional refurbishment at Blenheim-Gilboa. (HydroWorld 5/28/09) D.A. Collins Co. of Mechanicville, N.Y., is to refurbish tainter gates used to control water flow, and Northline Utilities of Au Sable Forks, N.Y., is to replace circuit breakers.

Blenheim-Gilboa began service in 1973. It is in the towns of Blenheim and Gilboa, about 65 miles southwest of Albany, the state capital.

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