American Governor wins Grand Coulee Dam hydro project upgrade contract

The United States Bureau of Reclamation has awarded American Governor Company a contract to upgrade the six existing analog cabinet actuator governors in the Grand Coulee hydroelectric project’s Third Powerhouse with digital governor systems and accessory equipment. The contract announcement was made at HydroVision International in Charlotte, N.C. 

American Governor will be responsible for providing all equipment, engineering, installation, testing and commissioning services for the project. Installation and commissioning of the new systems is scheduled for 2011 and 2012. 

The turbine-generator units at the Third Powerhouse are the largest in North America, with a nameplate rating of 750 megawatts each. Including the Left, Pump, Right and Third powerhouses, Grand Coulee Dam is the largest hydropower producer in the United States, with a total generating capacity of 6,809 megawatts. It is the fifth largest producer in the world.

Each new governor system will consist of a governor control cabinet, color touchscreen operator interface, electronic control valve manifold, Speed Signal Generator assembly and electronic position and speed feedback devices. A back-up speed and creep detection system and redundant feedback devices will enhance the reliability of the digital governors. The new governor systems will improve remote control and monitoring capabilities as well as enhance alarm and fault monitoring. The touchscreen operator interface will provide advanced diagnostic and troubleshooting tools, and each digital governor system will communicate with the plant’s Data Acquisition and Control System (DACS).

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