BC Hydro completes major upgrades to Peace River station

BC Hydro has completed the refurbishment of a 700-MW hydropower plant on British Columbia’s Peace River.

Work on the C$120 million refurbishment project began in May 2006 and was completed on time and about C$6 million under budget, the company said. The facility generates enough power for 300,000 Canadian homes.

“This is a major investment in a heritage asset and in our province’s clean energy future,” said Blair Lekstrom, minister of energy, mines and petroleum resources. “Extending the life of this heritage asset is a cost-effective way of helping British Columbia achieve our Energy Plan goal of becoming electricity self-sufficient by 2016.”

The project called for replacing the stators, upgrading the rotors, and overhauling the turbines.

“We are very proud of this achievement,” said Bob Elton, president and chief executive officer of BC Hydro. “It’s a great success on all fronts.”

The Peace Canyon facility began generating power in April 1980. The dam, which created the Dinosaur Reservoir, is about 14 miles downstream from BC Hydro’s GM Shrum Generation Station.

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BC Hydro completes 24-MW Aberfeldie redevelopment

British Columbia utility BC Hydro reports the completion of its redevelopment of the 5-MW Aberfeldie hydroelectric project, replacing it with a 24-MW plant on the Bull River east of Cranbrook, B.C.

The C$95 million (US$82.9 million) redevelopment included construction of the 24-MW powerhouse next to the 5-MW powerhouse, which was targeted for removal. The project also includes a new surge tower and switchyard, a new penstock, and improvements to a water intake, dam, and access road.

BC Hydro included the Aberfeldie redevelopment in its 2008 plan to spend C$3.4 billion (US$2.9 billion) over two years to renew and upgrade its hydroelectric projects and electricity infrastructure. (HydroWorld 3/4/08) The British Columbia Utilities Commission granted BC Hydro a certificate of public convenience and necessity for the project in 2007. (HydroWorld 3/9/07)

BC Hydro awarded a C$32 million (US$27.9 million) contract for civil work to Western Versatile Construction Corp. in 2007. Andritz VA Tech Hydro Canada supplied turbines, generators, and related equipment under a C$14 million (US$12.2 million) agreement. Knight Piesold Ltd. was awarded a contract in 2005 to provide detailed engineering design.

Aberfeldie ceased operation in October 2006 in preparation for redevelopment. The redevelopment will help fill a growing gap in supply of electricity in British Columbia, BC Hydro said. The redevelopment is expected to generate enough energy to supply 10,500 residential customers.